SAD’s tit-for-tat: Privilege motion against Cong for boycotting governor’s address | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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SAD’s tit-for-tat: Privilege motion against Cong for boycotting governor’s address

It is politics of tit-for-tat. To counter the opposition move of bringing a breach of privilege motion against Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the ruling party intends to move one against Congress MLAs for boycotting the governor’s address on the first day of the budget session.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 16, 2015 21:37 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Congress-stages-walk-out-from-Punjab-assembly-HT-Photo
Congress-stages-walk-out-from-Punjab-assembly-HT-Photo

It is politics of tit-for-tat. To counter the opposition move of bringing a breach of privilege motion against Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the ruling party intends to move one against Congress MLAs for boycotting the governor’s address on the first day of the budget session.

Soon after zero hour began on Monday, leader of opposition Sunil Jakhar got up to seek assembly Speaker Charanjit Atwal’s permission to move the privilege motion against Majithia. However, Atwal did not allow it to be taken on record saying it was still under consideration. When Jakhar protested that it could not be denied, Atwal told him a breach of privilege motion had also been moved by the ruling benches against opposition MLAs and both were under consideration. “I will take a call on both in a day or two,” Atwal said.

Outside the assembly, Jakhar accused the government of “muzzling” the voice of the opposition. “I even said that I would take back the privilege motion if chief minister Parkash Singh Badal assured the House that Majithia is innocent. The CM’s silence proves the minister’s complicity. As for our walkout during the governor’s address, it is not for the first time that it has happened. They are just trying to silence the opposition in every way they can,”
Jakhar said.

The Congress motion, copies of which were released to the media, has demanded resignation of the minister for “misleading” the house that he was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the drug and money laundering case as a witness and not as an accused.

“The chargesheet of the ED submitted in the court encloses statements of the accused who have levelled allegations that the minister was an active participant and beneficiary in the drug syndicate. As per the statement of an accused, he was given Rs 35 lakh as election fund. All these prove he was summoned as an accused. But in the last assembly session, when the opposition raised the issue of the ED summons to him, Majithia, in a statement made on the floor of the house on December 23, had said that he had been summoned only as a witness and not as an accused. This was totally wrong, false and factually incorrect. His act is contemptuous in nature and he is liable to be prosecuted for the contempt of the House,” it reads.

The Congress submitted the application at noon on Monday, two hours before the session resumed. The counter-motion by the ruling benches would succeed in blunting the opposition attack if both are disapproved by the Speaker. However, in case both are allowed, the Congress strategy will be to embarrass the government during the debate as it does not have the numbers to win it. It would also be interesting to see how the SAD ally – the BJP -- votes in case the privilege motion against the minister is put to vote.

House unanimously hails Padma Vibhushan to CM

The Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Monday unanimously passed a resolution expressing gratitude to President Pranab Mukherjee for conferring the Padma Vibhushan on Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. Moved by finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, it read, “Conferment of Padma Vibushan is in recognition of Badal’s continued services for welfare of the poor, Dalits and farmers for long and is an honour for Punjabiat and all Punjabis across the globe.”

The opposition also welcomed it by thumping of benches as senior Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra got up to say their party also felicitated the CM for the honour. Badal later thanked the President and the union government for bestowing the prestigious award on him and thanked all members of the House, especially the opposition, for unanimously passing the resolution.