Women power: AAP MLAs make impressive debut in Punjab assembly
The Aam Aadmi Party allowed all its three women MLAs —Sarvjit Kaur (Jagraon), Rupinder Kaur Ruby (Bathinda rural) and Baljinder Kaur (Talwandi Sabo) — to make their debut speeches in the budget session.punjab Updated: Jun 17, 2017 09:14 IST
As the main opposition party in Punjab, the AAP seems to be struggling to find its feet in the budget session of the Punjab assembly. The suspension of its chief whip Sukhpal Khaira and ally Simarjeet Bains from the remaining part of the budget session has left the party with just greenhorns — all the 19 other MLAs of the party are first-timers.
Though Khaira had ruffled some feathers within his own party by trying to steal the thunder of leader of Opposition HS Phoolka, the Supreme Court advocate could do little to salvage the party’s position during the governor’s address on Friday. The only time Phoolka showed some aggression was when AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s name was mentioned by treasury benches.
But to the party’s credit, it allowed all its three women MLAs —Sarvjit Kaur (Jagraon), Rupinder Kaur Ruby (Bathinda rural) and Baljinder Kaur (Talwandi Sabo) — to make their debut speeches in the budget session. A point that was not missed by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh who asked his party MLAs to let the women speak and not interrupt them.
Baljinder said there was a lot of difference between the government’s words and actions. She accused Congress leaders of trying to take control of truck unions and other businesses. Rupinder questioned how would the government fulfil its promise of 50 lakh smartphones to youth with “empty coffers”. “With all the features mentioned in CaptainSmartConnect scheme, each smartphone would cost Rs 4,000 on an average. It means an expense of Rs 2,000 crore,” she said.
Some Congress MLAs tried to intervene, but the CM got up and requested her to continue. “We should acknowledge that these MLAs are speaking for the first time,” he said.
Later, Sarvjit Kaur, a former teacher, raised the issue of poor infrastructure of schools. But she got just a few minutes to speak as speaker Rana KP Singh adjourned the House till Monday.
A few other AAP MLAs also made their debut speeches, including Gurmeet Singh ‘Meet Hayer’ Harpal Cheema and Aman Arora, party’s co-president in Punjab, who was AAP’s first speaker during the debate.