Zero hour: SAD MLA Valtoha walks out in protest
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Virsa Singh Valtoha on Thursday staged a walkout from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in protest after speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal allowed Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka to raise the concerns of the Dalit community in the House.chandigarh Updated: Jul 17, 2014 22:29 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Virsa Singh Valtoha on Thursday staged a walkout from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in protest after speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal allowed Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka to raise the concerns of the Dalit community in the House.
During the zero hour, Verka accused the Akali-BJP government of ignoring the Dalits in the state where they were in largest concentration. Reading out the figures in the House, Verka said the Dalits were being denied the benefits of the scholarship, shagun, pension, and other state welfare schemes.
Verka was raising the issue when Valtoha stood up and asked the Congress MLA (member of the legislative assembly) to sit, saying the matter should be discussed not in the zero hour but during the budget debate.
He even asked the speaker to tell Verka to sit. When the speaker said the issue was of extreme importance, Valtoha got agitated and walked out of the House.
When parliamentary affairs minister Madan Mohan Mittal also said that the issue be included in the budget debate, the Congress legislators stood up, raising slogans against the government. State CLP (Congress Legislature Party) leader Sunil Jakhar said the government should not try to muzzle the voice of the people, as depriving the Dalits of benefits was a serious issue.
Jakhar said Valtoha had no reason to be agitated. Congress MLA Ashwani Sekhri said the way Valtoha had threatened the Congress legislators in the House and disrespected the speaker’s chair was a matter of concern.
Spurious milk: CBI probe sought
During the zero hour, brothers SS Bains and BS Bains, both independent legislators from Ludhiana, raised the issue of the supply of spurious and adulterated Milkfed milk in Ludhiana and the surrounding areas and demanded that the case be moved to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), since the chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had “assigned the inquiry to the official involved”.
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal assured the House that the investigation would be fair. “Give me the names of the inquiry officers involved in the scam and I will act against them,” he said.
Oppose plan to link rivers: Jakhar
State CLP leader Sunil Jakahr said Punjab should oppose the union government’s plan to link the rivers of various states. “If Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) is laid, Punjab will have to give its share of water to Haryana,” he said. Sukhbir assured the House that Punjab, which did not have surplus water, would not share even a drop of it with the neighbouring state.