A key resolution on drug menace could not be discussed in the Punjab assembly on Thursday, as the ruling-combine resolution on stray cattle and dogs took all the allotted time.
After adopting a motion calling for the government’s attention, the Akali-BJP legislators stayed with the stray animals issue for another two-hours-and-a-half.
Even as the red-faced Congress walked out in protest against the “time killing” strategy, 12 Shiromani Akali Dal legislators took turn to explain the types of dogs, dog bites, and cattle. Leader of the opposition Sunil Jakhar, later, described it as “theatre of the absurd”.
The resolution recommending the government to take quick steps to curb the drug addiction, and another private member resolution, about rationalising the tax structure in the industrial sector, could not be taken up. The Congress walkout and the subsequent efforts to halt the long narration on the importance of livestock had no effect.
Bibi counts dog breeds
For humour’s sake, Bibi Jagir Kaur of the SAD was at her best, as she took nearly half an hour explaining the different breeds of dogs, categorising the canines into stray and pet, and stressing “the need for taming them”. Taking long cue breaks in between, she even quoted from Gurbani: “Kutta raaj bahaliye, pher chakki chatte (a dog kept for safeguarding the flour would rather lick it). “A greedy man is termed as a dog in this anecdote from Gurbani…, but I do not want to criticise the dogs, as I am pointing out that dogs should be tamed so that these are not harmful,” she said, drawing laughter.
The MLA from Bholath also narrated an incident about stray dogs that once “blocked the path of the chief minister’s cavalcade” in her constituency, leading to “the suspending of four policemen for failing to shoo the dogs away”.
As she looked for more words to describe the Labrador and German shepherd breeds, even the opposition benches had a good laugh. The repeated requests of the Congress “not to kill time” failed to convince the speaker. “In spite of a call-to-attention motion, the serious resolution on drug menace was held up,” rued opposition leader Jakhar.
The lone Bharatiya Janata Party legislator who contributed to the discussion on the resolution against stray cattle thanked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for forming a Cow Commission, and demanding a law against cow slaughter on the lines of Haryana. As the clock struck 2.30pm, a few minutes after the Congress request for extending the sitting (for taking up the two other resolutions) had gone unheard, speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal adjourned the session for Friday.
The other Akali legislators who contributed to dragging the discussion on stray animals included education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, Virsa Singh Valtoha, Mahe Inder Singh, Chaudhary Nand Lal, Ranjit Singh Dhillon, and Manpreet Singh Ayali.