Congress MLAs wear Gandhi caps in protest

Congress MLAs wear Gandhi caps in protest

Taking their Gandhigiri protest against corruption a step further, Congress legislators donned white caps in Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Monday.

As the House met, opposition leader Vidya Stokes stood up and said, “Our protest against health minister Rajeev Bindal over allegations of corruption will continue.”
“But to maintain the dignity of the House, we have decided to sit and listen to the budget speech. This is our way of protest,” she said.

As Stokes ended her brief address, she donned a white cap. All the 23 Congress legislators in the 68-member Assembly donned the caps as a mark of protest against corruption.

Later, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the budget for 2012-13.

The Congress’ protest entered the sixth consecutive day on Monday.

It has been demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into allegations of corruption against Bindal. It also demanded the minister’s removal from the Cabinet.

Congress legislators had taken the Gandhigiri route on March 15 as well, gagging themselves with black bands in the House. They held a silent protest, not uttering a single word during Question Hour.

Dhumal has given a clean chit to Bindal.

Bindal drama

Earlier, Bindal had refuted allegations of “amassing immovable assets” and told the state Assembly that he was resigning from the cabinet. That day ruckus had ruled the House over the issue of assets allegedly acquired by Bindal and his family since he became minister in January 2008.

Bindal, who made a point-by-point rebuttal of the charges against him, went up to the table of chief minister Dhumal and had handed over his resignation.

Dhumal had said it was not the first time that the charges have been brought up against Bindal, and his resignation was an emotional outburst.

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