A question by Akali MLA from Budhlada Chittan Singh Samao put the treasury benches in an awkward situation when he sought clarity on payment of Rs 33 per day to mid-day meal cooks from education minister Daljit Singh Cheema.
The House also witnessed slogan-shouting by independent MLAs – Balwinder Singh and Simarjeet Bains — and the Congress legislators, who cornered the government for paying meagre wages to mid-day meal cooks.
The question hour was dominated by the Bains brothers who disrupted the proceedings demanding Rs 16 lakh crore water charges from the Rajasthan government since 1955. Their plea was turned down by speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal saying there was no such provision in the law.
Sensing that the Bains brothers were stealing the show, Congress MLAs — Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Tarlochan Singh Soondh — also protested on the same issue and rushed to the well of the House.
Though the education minister tried to convince the House that the central government and the state contribute Rs 600 each every month to pay Rs 1,200 to the cooks, the opposition and independent legislators continued to raise slogans terming the Akali-BJP government “gareeb maroo sarkar” (anti-poor government).
In his supplementary question, Samao asked the minister whether Rs 33 by any means was enough for the cooks to sustain their livelihood.
Questions raised by SAD MLAs
Varinder Kaur Loomba (Shutrana): Bridges over Bhakra main line canal in my constituency are damaged. What is position of work of re-fabrication of these bridges?
Surinder Singh Bhulewal Rathan (Garhshankar): When are the defunct deep-bore tubewells in my constituency be made functional?
Bibi Jagir Kaur (Bolath): Efforts made by the government to widen Kapurthala-Subanpur-Begowal road?
Extension to questions
On two questions asked by Akali MLAs, the speaker allowed extension (Reply will come at a later stage). Justice Nirmal Singh (retd) asked about recruitment made on contract basis in Pungrian and Virsa Singh Valtoha asked about enhancement of compensation for the area across the barbed wire on border.
Iqbal Singh Jhundan (Amargarh): What are rules for durability of link roads? Is the responsibility of contractors or officials is fixed for premature damage of roads?
Chittan Singh Samao (Budhlada): What is the status of releasing water in Boha and Budhlada constituencies?