Congress walks out of Himachal Assembly over highways

The opposition Congress on Thursday staged a walkout from the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, saying that the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had failed to get Rs 65,000 crore for 70 national highways sanctioned from the Centre.

After the walkout, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur blamed the previous Congress government for deliberately stalling the process for the highways for more than one year before the 2017 Assembly polls.

“The (state) Congress didn’t want to give advantage to the BJP for giving in-principle approval to 70 national highways,” he said.

Thakur said the Congress government had started the process for just eight detailed project reports (DPRs) of the highways in over one year, whereas “our government has started the process of outsourcing for 50 DPRs”.

“It takes time for notification of the highways after in-principle approval as there are so many procedures involved,” the Chief Minister added.

Describing the move as unfortunate, the Chief Minister said the Congress was looking for an opportunity to stage a walkout.

“The Congress wants to make a hue and cry in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. Development is a collective programme and nobody should create hurdles in the development,” he said.

Raising the question earlier, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said the government had been making tall claims on the issue, but there was nothing on ground.


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