Cong, Independents stage walkout, say speaker ‘muzzling’ their voice

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 19, 2015 21:49 IST

Peeved over not being given appropriate time to speak during the budget session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, two Independents backed by Congress MLAs staged a walkout in the house on Thursday. They also alleged that most of their questions were not addressed.

When leader of the opposition Sunil Jakhar tired to raise a question on the rejection of privilege motion demanded by the Congress saying “speaker saab, I have reservation about your order,” his voice was lost in the pandemonium.

Contradicting him, the treasury benches said the speaker had also rejected their demand for privilege motion.

The issue of not getting appropriate time to speak in the House was raised by Independent MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains, who alleged that despite repeated requested, the speaker had not given much heed to their demand. The Independent MLAs sat on the floor and raised slogans against the speaker for “muzzling” their voice. They came into the well of the House raising slogans and were joined by Congress MLAs, including Jakhar, before staging a walkout.

Earlier, speaking in the House, Jakhar said, “Speaker saab, you are not a censor board but a custodian of the House and everybody should get a chance to speak.”

Congress’ Randeep Singh Nabha alleged that most of the important questions raised by the opposition had been granted extension by the speaker.


Jakhar questioned the Shiormnani Akali Dal’s (SAD) stand on the Union government’s land acquisition bill. “SAD speaks against the land bill, but had voted in favour of it in the Lok Sabha,” said Jakhar. He said by ignoring the crucial issues, the House wants to hold discussions on stray dogs and cattle problem.

In his reply, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said on coming to power in 2007, the government had announced to form a committee to decide the cost of land earmarked for acquisition. The compensation is given as per the land’s market value along with 30% rehabilitation cost, said Badal.

He said during the Congress regime in the state, the government used to acquire the land without giving adequate compensation to the farmers.

“The issue of the land acquisition bill was discussed at the core committee meeting of the party and it was conveyed to the BJP high command that a clause of consent and farmers’ share in development be added to the bill,” said Badal.

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