Himachal BJP legislators take to 'Gandhigiri'

Shimla, Feb 6: After creating a ruckus in the Himachal Pradesh assembly for three days over the alleged humiliation of their legislators by the chief minister, opposition BJP members took to "Gandhigiri" on Thursday, showing up with black bands over their mouths.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members held a silent protest by sitting on their seats and not uttering a single word during question hour.

As the question hour got over, they staged a silent walkout.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh's reply on the motion of thanks to the governor's address continued in their absence.

The BJP members then re-entered the house gagging themselves with the black bands.

"We are protesting against the humiliating remarks by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh against BJP leaders and the undemocratic style of his working," BJP legislator Suresh Bhardwaj told reporters.

The BJP had also staged a walkout from the house Wednesday after Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal was not allowed to intervene on the issue of the party's notice against the chief minister for breach of privilege.

The BJP had also staged a walkout from the house.

The opposition has given a notice for breach of privilege to the speaker against Virbhadra Singh for addressing the BJP members as "bonded labourers" to a senior party leader.

Terming the BJP's protest an "ugly demonstration", the chief minister said "the opposition is wasting the time of the house for four days".

"In spite of raising public issues, they are indulging in character assassination," Virbhadra Singh said while replying to the motion of thanks.

The chief minister denied he ever made a statement referring to the legislators as "bonded labourers".

"But it's my personal view that the BJP legislators are helpless," he added.

Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, will present the budget Feb 7. It is scheduled to be passed Feb 19.


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