Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar on Monday met Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal and demanded that the state Congress be provided adequate time on the floor of the House to debate various issues concerning people of the state.
Jakhar, who met the speaker along with a deputation of 10 party MLAs, asked Atwal to allow live coverage of the ongoing winter session.
"The country is already progressing towards transparency with the introduction of the Right To Information Act. In order to further the same spirit in Punjab, too, the speaker must allow live coverage of the Vidhan Sabha session. In case there is a large number of private television channels interested in showing live coverage of the session, then an arrangement could be made with Doordarshan to provide feed to other channels," Jakhar told the speaker.
The Congress MLA told Atwal that during the previous assembly session, the latter desired that the Opposition should inform the House in advance about the issues it would want to discuss on the floor during zero hour. This, the speaker said, would make it more convenient for the House to have an organised debate and even ministers would come prepared with answers on various issues.
In a written communiqué to the speaker, Jakhar pointed out that the state Congress would debate on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, scarcity of sand and gravel in Punjab, appointment of the Punjab Lokpal, distribution of Rs 40 crore from Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) funds in chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's Lambi assembly segment before the Vidhan Sabha elections in January, Akali ministers' alleged involvement in scams of border area development funds, shagun and old-age pension schemes, the "misuse" of discretionary funds by ministers, poor fiscal health of the state, foreign direct investment (FDI), farmers' issues, urban area problems and "misuse" of central grants by Punjab.
Jakhar told the speaker that he should also inform the treasury benches in advance about these issues so that they come prepared to answer queries with facts and figures.