Punjab assembly Budget Session : Cong boycotts Guv’s address, stages walkout

  • Manpreet Randhawa, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 12, 2015 22:00 IST

The Congress on Thursday boycotted Punjab Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki’s maiden address to the state legislative assembly demanding resignation of revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia after his name figured in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) chargesheet for receiving Rs 35 lakh from Jagjit Singh Chahal, a key accused in the synthetic drug racket.

Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar got up from his seat even before Solanki began to address the House on the opening day of the budget session.

Jakhar said he welcomes the Governor in the state assembly, but the Congress has decided to boycott his speech as issues pertaining to Majithia were still pending.

As soon as the Governor began to address the assembly, Congress MLAs led by Jakhar staged a walkout raising slogans against the state government.

Jakhar later told the media that the Congress would continue to protest in the assembly till Majithia resigns or chief minister Parkash Singh Badal dismisses him from the council of ministers.

“To have free and fair investigations, it is important for Majithia to resign from the council of ministers so he is in no position of power to influence the probe into the multi-crore drug racket,” said Jakhar. The probe should be conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the supervision of a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court or the supreme court.

Jakhar said Chahal had given a statement to the ED under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which was admissible in the court of evidence. “In the chargesheet, Chahal has admitted to have personally given Rs 35 lakh to Majithia as election fund at the latter’s Amritsar residence,” said Jakhar.

On Congress’ future strategy in the House, Jakhar said the party on Friday would again hold a protest demonstration on the floor of the House immediately after obituary references to demand Majithia’s resignation.

On Monday, the party will bring a privilege motion against Majithia and will see how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responds to it, which otherwise has always been taking a high moral ground on fighting the drug menace in the state,” he said.

Jakhar said the Congress had brought a no-confidence motion against Majithia during the December assembly session. “We knew that the motion would be defeated as we lack the adequate strength in the House. However, the move has exposed the double-faced BJP,” he said.

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