The Punjab assembly on Tuesday witnessed noisy scenes again as the Congress charged the SAD-BJP government with misusing police to win the recent civic body elections, forcing Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal to adjourn the proceedings of the House.
Protesting alleged "police excesses" at the "behest" of the state government during the civic body polls, the Congress later staged a walkout from the assembly.
During the Zero Hour, Leader of the Opposition Sunil Jakhar drew the attention of the House towards the alleged misuse of the police by the ruling combine during the municipal polls. Jakhar said it was purely due to police excesses that the ruling SAD-BJP combine won the civic body elections.
"It was a murder of democracy," said Jakhar, seeking a reply from chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. He said Badal had been a great votary of democracy during his political career and had even gone to jail during the Emergency. Jakhar pointed out that a Congress MLA, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, was injured during poll-related violence in Ludhiana and ended up with a broken arm.
As Jakhar insisted on a reply from the chief minister, Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal intervened and told the Opposition that it was the prerogative of the CM whether to respond or not.
Badal advised the opposition members to raise one issue at a time so that he could give a reply.
The Congress members trooped into the well of the House and resorted to sloganeering, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the assembly for about 40 minutes.
When the House reassembled, BJP leader and minister Madan Mohan Mittal stood up and said that the sanctity and spirit of Zero Hour was marred by the opposition members.
On his part, the chief minister said that he would make a statement on the floor of the House on Wednesday on political vendetta charges levelled by the Congress.