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Cong to decide today on attending budget session

The Congress will decide on Monday if its legislators were to participate in the ensuing 17-day budget session, which is commencing the same day. The party will take a final decision on Monday after taking a collective view of its legislators.

punjab Updated: Mar 10, 2013 00:22 IST
Manpreet Randhawa

The Congress will decide on Monday if its legislators were to participate in the ensuing 17-day budget session, which is commencing the same day.


The party will take a final decision on Monday after taking a collective view of its legislators whether they still wanted revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia to tender an apology for hurling expletives at MLA Rana Gurjeet Singh on the floor of the House during the last session held in December last year.

Newly-appointed Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa told Hindustan Times that the decision on attending the budget session would depend on the collective view of the party MLAs.

"If the majority felt that Majithia should apologise for his misconduct, only then the opposition will attend the session. The whole world watched Majithia abusing the Congress MLA in the assembly and unfortunately the speaker till date has not acted against him," said Bajwa.

Bajwa said it would be equally important to have Rana Gurjeet's viewpoint on the issue. "After all, the members of the Opposition do not go to the House to get humiliated at the hands of the ruling alliance members. So, we will weigh all options," said Bajwa.

CLP leader Sunil Jakhar said he would meet the party MLAs the same day to have their viewpoint. "It is extremely important for the smooth conduct of the House that all members, including that of the treasury benches, maintain decorum and set high values in the House. We gather in the assembly to debate on important issues pertaining to Punjab and its people," said Jakhar.

Jakhar said that during the all-party meeting held on Saturday, it appeared that the SAD-BJP alliance was serious to have meaningful debates in the House and determined to resolve the Majithia-Rana spat amicably.

During the last assembly session held on December 17 for four days, Majithia, during the debate on deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab, had lost his cool and hurled abuses at Rana Gurjeet. However, the speaker instead of acting against Majithia, expelled Rana Gurjeet from the House. Even when the video showing Bikram abusing in the House went viral on the Internet, the speaker failed to act against him. In fact, the speaker had to face protest demonstration from the members of the opposition and flak from the intelligentsia for being biased in the House.

Opposition's concerns

During the all-party meeting on Saturday, the Congress raised the issue of not getting answers in time for the questions they ask during the assembly session. In fact, in many cases, the answers are given the same day questions are asked, giving little time for them to prepare for the supplementary queries. The Congress also complained that the members of the Opposition do not even get bills on time to have a meaningful debate on those.
Assurances given on the floor of the House by the ministers are generally not adhered to. Besides, there are several answers given by the ministers, which are factually incorrect, complained the Congress party during the all-party meet.

Panel in place for smooth conduct of House

During the all-party meeting a committee comprising chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, CLP leader Sunil Jakhar and speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal was constituted to ensure smooth conduct of the budget session.

Presiding over the all-party meeting, speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said that the committee would consider the issues linked with the functioning of the session. He said committee would convene a meeting before commencement of the session to ensure the smooth functioning of the session.

Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, CLP leader Sunil Jakhar, senior Congress leaders Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Ashwani Sekhri, BJP ministers Chunni Lal Bhagat and Madan Mohan Mittal attended the all-party meet.

Atwal also stated that soon laptops would be provided to every member of the legislative assembly.