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Thakur blames previous govt for debt burden; Cong members stage walk out

Thakur blames previous govt for debt burden; Cong members stage walk out

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday hit-out at the previous Congress government led by Virbhadra Singh for soaring debt burden exceeding Rs 50,000 crore and sought an apology from the party for pushing the state towards a 'dark tunnel'.

"The Congress should feel ashamed and admit its folly about burdening masses under the debt . It's the Congress which started the practice of raising off-budget loans in 1993-94. Every year hundreds of crores of loans were raised just for luxuries. When, I took over in December 2017, the debt burden was already Rs 46,345 crores, said Thakur in the state assembly replying to three-day long debate on the budget for 2019-20.

But, before he could complete his reply, the opposition had staged a walk-out from the House refusing to listen to Chief Minister's clarifications on the issues it had raised during the debate.

"You (CM) are not telling the truth. Why don't you answer our queries on the lack-lustre budget and loans raised during past one year. It was promised to the people that the BJP will make the state debt free. How much debt has been reduced? How much financial help you got from the centre and what resource mobilisation you have done? You are not replying the core questions," said Mukesh Agnihotri before he led the party MLAs to stage a walk-out.

A furious Chief Minister shot back alleging that the Congress was facing a leadership crisis.

The party has refused to honour basic parliamentary conventions to listen to the reply patiently. Every question the Congress tried to raise on fiscal management and debt has boomeranged on it. It's the Congress misadventure with fiscal management. Thus, they are running away from the House.

"My government did raise loans for development. It's a part of budget funding. These loans are much less than those of the Congress. For example, the Congress raised Rs 18,787 crore between 2013-17. The BJP government in 2008-2012 raised just Rs 7,621 crores. Now, my government raised Rs 3000 crore in 2018 against Rs 7,148 crore of the in calendar year of 2017," he asked.

Ashwani Sharma

Ashwani Sharma

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