Zero hour: Ruckus in Punjab Vidhan Sabha over halqa incharge

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 24, 2015 23:17 IST

Congress MLA Randeep Singh Nabha on Tuesday raised the issue of halqa incharges appointed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in various constituencies and how they had become more important than elected representatives, especially for district administration officials.

During zero hour, Nabha said Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had declared on the floor of the House that the government had no knowledge of the existence of halqa incharges, but in actual practice, they had become a law unto themselves.

“It amounts to a privilege motion against Badal for announcing in the House that there are no halqa incharges. They do exist and I have evidence in this regard,” said Nabha.

He showed an invitation card to the House, issued by Ferozepur deputy commissioner DPS Kharbanda, in which the latter had extended an invite to the local MP, MLA and Vardev Singh Mann, the halqa incharge who had lost from Guru Har Sahai in the 2012 assembly polls.

Nabha said the invitation was extended to Mann and others for attending the wreath-laying by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hussainiwala (Ferozepur) on March 23.

“This clearly shows the existence of halqa incharges, which the SAD has been invariably denying,” said Nabha, requesting speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal to ask Badal to make a statement on the issue in the house.

Atwal said during zero hour that he could not compel the chief minister to make a statement. “You have raised an issue and it has come to the notice of the government,” he said.

Congress MLA Parminder Singh Pinky also demanded action against officials who had issued the invitation.

Badal finally stood up and reiterated that there was no constitutional post called halqa incharge. “However, if the officials still made a mistake, I will look into it. It is just a minor mistake and doesn’t demand any major punishment in this case,” the CM said.

‘Money for disabled diverted’

During zero hour, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar raised the issue of Rs 17 crore that the central government had released for disabled children during the past two years.

Jakhar said that even the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) had pointed in its report that the money came for the disabled children had been diverted by the state government to some other head. “This for the first time that CAG had held a press conference to point fingers at the SAD-BJP government on handling finances”, said Jakhar.

“Earlier during the debate on the budget ruling MLA Som Parkash had also mentioned that how some people of his constituency wanted the disabled allowance to the children be raised from Rs. 250 to Rs. 500”, said Jakhar.

Jakhar wanted chief minister parkash Singh Badal to make a statement on the issue the speaker however said that the issue may be discussed during the debate on the budget.

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