HP Guv manhandled in Assembly complex, five Cong MLAs suspended

Shimla, Feb 26 (PTI):
Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatraya was allegedly manhandled by some Congress members in the Assembly complex on Friday, following which five MLAs were suspended for the remainder of the Budget Session.
Speaker Vipin Parmar said the Congress MLAs, including Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, were suspended on a motion moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj. The Opposition members tried to stop the governor in front of the speaker’s chamber when he was going towards his cavalcade, accompanied by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Parmar, after addressing the Assembly on the opening day of the Budget Session. The speaker said the Congress members’ action was against rules.
No Congress MLA was present in the House at the time of suspension of the five MLAs.
The Assembly, which was adjourned till 2 pm on Monday earlier in the day, was reconvened at 1 pm on Friday to consider the motion moved by Bhardwaj.
While moving the motion in the House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bhardwaj said Chief Minister Thakur had termed the manhandling an “attack on the governor”.
It reflected the frustration of Congress MLAs after the party’s defeat in the recent panchayat elections, Bhardwaj added.
Besides Leader of the Opposition Agnihotri, the four other suspended MLAs are Harsh Vardhan Chauhan, Sunder Singh Thakur, Satpal Raizada and Vinay Kumar.
Earlier, the Governor could read only the last line of his address to the Assembly amid a ruckus by members of the opposition Congress.
As soon as the House assembled at 11 am, the Congress members led by Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri rose from their seats and raised slogans. Following din in the House, the Governor read the last line of his address and stated that the entire speech should be deemed as read. The Congress members alleged that contents of the address were “a bundle of lies”. They stated that the issue of increase in cooking gas, petrol and diesel prices was not included in the address. The session is scheduled to conclude on March 20. The chief minister will present the budget for 2021-22 in the Assembly on March 6.

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