Himachal Assembly strikes down Loktantra Prehri Samman Rashi legislation

Amid the protest of Opposition, Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Monday struck down the Himachal Pradesh Loktantra Prehri Samman Rashi Act stating that public money was misused by the BJP government to provide pecuniary benefits to well-off people who were detained during the emergency during Indira Gandhi Government in 1977.

 In the absence of the Chief Minister, Parliamentary affairs minister Harshvardhan Chauhan introduce and presented the HP Loktantra Prehri Samman Rashi Repeal Act. Opposition leader and former chief minister Jai Ram Thakur opposed the move by stating that this is another blow by the Congress party against those who fought for democracy and who were detained in jail for saving democracy during Congress rule in 1977.  

The leader of the Opposition also tried to blame the treasury benches for being casual on the important legislation stating that Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu who should be here to participate in the Assembly business is at Surat. The Chief Minister and Deputy CM are not in the house and they could not protect democracy by joining a leader who was convicted by the court.

 However Paralimentary affairs minister Harshvardhan Chauhan replied that Deputy Chief minister Mukesh Agnihotri is advised by the doctor to take rest as he is not well after having an injury and the Chief Minister is not in the house couldn’t be blamed by the opposition as a Paralimentary affairs minister he could present Loktantra Prehri Samman Rashi Repeal Act and opposition members should present their viewpoint. 

He stated that the BJP government could not hide its design to benefit those leaders who are detained in preventive detention to destabilize a government under the MISA act and other sections of CrPC.He said that a person who is detained under criminal law couldn’t be given a pension or honor by any Legislative provision and previous BJP government misused public funds to benefit well-off people. 

Minister said that on the declaration of some detainees, the certificate was issued to other person that they were in jail during emergency if any records were not found against them in the police station and jail. Minister said that the beneficiary of Samman Rashi includes people belonging outside the state. 

Minister said that Rs 2.48 Cr was spent on disbursing the Government money on many such people. He said that number of people who belonged to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were provided with Pensions by comparing them with Freedom fighters as crusaders of democracy. Mr. Harshvardhan Chauhan said that number of well-off people who are taking pension as former Chief Minister, Minister, MLAs, and well of people who do not need such pecuniary benefits were issued the amount. He said that Jai Ram Thakur Government first came out with an announcement in the 2019 budget session to declare Samman Rashi and later passed this bill in the Assembly despite Congress party which was in opposition opposed it.

Minister said that Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu did a good decision by stopping this Sanman Rashi. Mr. Chauhan said that amount was just Rs 8300 per month when it was implemented and later increased from Rs 15000 to Rs 23000. He said that no other BJP-ruled states has announced and brought the Loktantra Prehri Samman Rashi act and Jai Ram Thakur Government did it as if people were arrested in Himachal Pradesh only during emergency. 

Speaking during the discussion on the legislation today Randhir Sharma of BJP stated that if Congress Government was in a position to increase Pension to Employees it should not implement the scheme by cutting down this Sanman Rashi to Crusader of democracy. 

BJP MLA Mr. Satpal Sati said that the government is trying to undermine the sacrifices of people who protected democracy in the black days when unmarried people were forcefully sterilized by forcefully detaining them in Health camps. He said that not only RSS leaders but many leaders like Jaiparkash Narayan, George Fernandes, and Lalu Parsad Yadav were put behind bars in the emergency. He said that Mr. Yadav also named his daughter Misa on the MISA act to detain him. He said that no freedom fighters which Congress leaders mentioned like Bhagat Singh and Ishfakula Khan ever belonged to Congress and belonged to all of us. 

Congress MLA Vikramaditya Singh stated that RSS and freedom fighters couldn’t be equated and a RSS leader which has a history to demand apologies for such detention during the freedom movement could not be entitled to the Loktantra Prehri Samman.

 Former Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar said that RSS has played an important role in shaping the country and deserves the Samna Rashi. 

Congress MLA Jagat Singh Negi said that it was not during Indira Gandhi Congress Government when emergency was declared but today there is an undeclared emergency. “If any opposition leader joins BJP he becomes honest and if he didn’t join it, ED, CBI, and Income tax all agencies sent after him.” He said that number of Journalists were allowed to publish newspapers during emergency but today journalist could not discharge their duty of impartiality as they are being booked, FIR being filed against them and some of them are also jailed. ” If you are Godi media it is ok but if anyone brings truth he may face censorship.” he took jibs on the current dispensations of the Modi government. Mr. Negi said that funds being misused by the BJP government should have been utilized for poor and needy people. He demanded to repeal of the act brought by the former BJP government.  

The Speaker presented the legislation for voice votes it was passed by the ruling members being having a majority in 68 member Assembly but the entire opposition walked out in protest from the house.

 However, barring BJP member Bilbir Verma all BJP members abstained from the house. Mr. Verma presented a motion to discuss the exploitation of Apple growers by the middleman. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *