Himachal CM blames BJP government for tree felling

Shimla, Aug 26 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday blamed the former BJP-led state government for erroneous marking of green trees for felling.

In a suo-motu statement in the assembly, the chief minister said the BJP government had wrongly marked the trees before the assembly polls in December 2012 in the Chamba forest division.

He said action would be taken against the culprits.

However, leader of opposition and BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal said the chief minister was trying to put the onus on the BJP for the illicit felling done in the Congress regime.

Dhumal said the question was of felling of the unmarked trees, which are over 1,400.

BJP members maintained that Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri was responsible for the felling and he should resign.

The chief minister was, however, adamant on his stand and said the wrong marking of green trees for felling was a big scandal in the previous BJP regime and the inquiry report had unfolded that.

“I was shocked that out of 1,500 trees, only 36 dry trees were marked for felling and the remaining were green,” he said.

The statement infuriated the BJP members.

“The chief minister is blatantly trying to shelter the defaulters by giving wrong facts and wants to penalise those who have pointed out the mistake. We stage a walk out in protest against this attitude,” said Dhumal, who led the walkout with the BJP members.

On this, the chief minister said the opposition party had staged a walkout as it could not stand truth in the house.

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