Akalis walk out of Punjab assembly over obituary reference to ex-DGP KPS Gill
“Freedom fighters and anyone who had done good to the society deserves an obituary. Gill killed thousands of innocent youths, so his name be deleted (from the obituary list),” said Sukhbir Singh Badal, leader of SAD MLAs. Then, all the 14 Akali MLAs present in House, walked out raising anti-government slogans. Former CM Parkash Singh Badal was not present in the House on Wednesday.punjab Updated: Jun 14, 2017 23:57 IST
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) staged a walkout after Vidhan Sabha speaker Rana Kunwar Pal Singh read out the name of former Punjab Police director general of police (DGP) KPS Gill for obituary references on Wednesday, the opening day of the budget session of assembly.
Gill, who is credited with wiping out militancy from Punjab, died in Delhi on May 26.
“Freedom fighters and anyone who had done good to the society deserves an obituary. Gill killed thousands of innocent youths, so his name be deleted (from the obituary list),” said Sukhbir Singh Badal, leader of SAD MLAs. Then, all the 14 Akali MLAs present in House, walked out raising anti-government slogans. Former CM Parkash Singh Badal was not present in the House on Wednesday.
On Monday, the SAD had written to Amarinder and the speaker, demanding Gill’s name be deleted from the obituary list.
The speaker, while reading out the obituary references, said that Gill earned the acronym ‘supercop’ and played an important role in restoring peace in Punjab.
As the Akalis were walking out, some congress MLAs stood up and shouted at opposition members, leading to a ruckus.
Taking a jibe at SAD members, local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu demanded that the drug addicts who died during the ten years of the Akali government be also mentioned in the obituary list.
BAINS BROTHERS ALSO WALK OUT
The Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) also staged a walkout over the Gill issue even as its ally Aam Aadmi Party stayed back in the House during the obituaries.
The two LIP MLAs, Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, also walked out of the House, raising slogans of “Qatil (murderer) Gill” and “Shame shame Punjab sarkar”.
Talking to the media later, Amarinder justifed his government’s decision to pay tributes to Gill and said, “(Parkash Singh) Badal remained CM for 15 years because of Gill
Meanwhile, all three MLAs of the BJP, a SAD ally, kept sitting in the House as Akali MLAs staged a walkout. They had made their stand clear on Monday, saying there might be a difference of opinion over Gill’s style of functioning, but he deserves an obituary for bringing peace to Punjab.
IT ALL BEGAN WITH HANDSHAKES, SMILES
Before the arrival of the speaker in the House, the CM walked to the opposition benches and shook hands with former deputy CM Sukhbir Badal. Then some SAD and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs also got up and moved towards the CM for a handshake.
Sukhbir also walked to the treasury benches to meet Congress MLAs, particularly power minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who is in the thick of a controversy after some of his former employees bagged sand mine contracts.
Before the speaker started reading out the obituary references, AAP MLA Balwinder Kaur suggested that homage be paid to 70 farmers who committed suicide in three months in Punjab since the Congress took over the government. Amarinder agreed to her demand and tributes were paid to the farmers.
VINOD KHANNA AMONG OTHERS PAID TRIBUTES
The House paid tributes to actor-turned-politician and four-time BJP MP from Gurdaspur Vinod Khanna; freedom fighters Nishan Singh, Gurdev Singh and Banta Singh; martyrs Lovepreet Singh, Paramjeet Singh and Raghubir Singh, agriculture scientist Dilbagh Singh Athwal and Akali leader Kirpal Singh Khirnia, who was referred to as an eminent personality.
The House was adjourned for the day.