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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Congress condemns Akali system of 'de facto MLAs'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 18, 2012
First Published: 23:10 IST(18/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:28 IST(18/11/2012)

Congress leaders have condemned the arrest of the party's Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra outside the chief minister's residence in Chandigarh on Friday. Nagra was protesting against the manner of land acquisition for the Rajpura thermal plant.

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Nagra had a specific grouse that instead of involving him in resolving the matter with L&T, the private firm tasked with building the 1,400 MW plant at Naalash village of Rajpura, CM Parkash Singh Badal had invited ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)'s defeated assembly poll candidate Prem Singh Chandumajra to participate in the meeting that included deputy commissioners, farmers and other officials of Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala.

"Chandumajra has no right to attend such meetings," said Nagra, alleging that the SAD-BJP had "ransacked" the democratic system by giving charge of halqas (assembly segments) to their own partymen and made them "de facto MLAs".

Congress MLAs Randip Singh Nabha, Navtej Singh Cheema, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Jeet Mohinder Singh, and former MLAs Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Ripjit Singh Brar and Surinderpal Singh Sibia, condemned the arrest of Nagra. "The entire episode is nothing but the murder of democracy and muzzling of the voice of elected representatives by none less than the CM," said the leaders, demanding a public apology from Badal.

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