Overcome with emotion, Himachal speaker admitted to hospital

Shimla, April 6 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh assembly Speaker B.B.L. Butail, overcome with emotion on Wednesday due to frequent disruptions of the house by the opposition BJP over the disproportionate assets cases against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, was later hospitalised.

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

As the house assembled, the septuagenarian speaker appealed to the opposition to allow the house to work cordially 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 around 15-minute address, he turned emotional and his voice chocked many times.

When Butail was not able to speak smoothly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, including two-time 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 take rest in his chamber as he was too emotional to speak normally. The minister suggested that Deputy Speaker Jagat Singh Negi could preside over the house.

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

Dhumal also left the house and enquired about Butail’s well-being.

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

For last 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.

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