Overcome with emotion, Himachal speaker Hospitalised

BBL Butail

B.B.L. Butail, Himachal Pradesh Speaker was overcome with emotion due to frequent disruptions of the House by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the disproportionate assets case against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

Butail who was taken to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla for a health check-up, was admitted to the cardiac care unit.

As the House assembled, the septuagenarian Speaker appealed to the opposition to allow business to continue for the remaining two days.

Referring to the decision taken at the all-party meeting convened by him on Tuesday, Butail asked members to work cordially in the house. During his 15-minute address, he turned emotional and his voice choked many times.

When Butail was not able to speak smoothly, the BJP members, including former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, requested him to calm down.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was not in the House at that time.

Minister Kaul Singh also asked the Speaker to rest in his chamber as he was too emotional to speak. The minister suggested that Deputy Speaker Jagat Singh Negi could preside over the House.

Later, Butail left the Assembly, and even while moving out of the house, he made a fervent appeal again for smooth functioning of the House.

Virbhadra Singh, who was in his office, also visited the Speaker’s chamber.

For the past one week, the Himachal Pradesh Assembly has witnessed sloganeering, ruckus, adjournments and walkouts with the BJP demanding a debate on the fresh revelations over the Enforcement Directorate probing the chief minister for money laundering.