The budget session of the Punjab assembly ended on an acrimonious note on Monday with both the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the opposition Congress refusing to budge from their extreme positions.
While the Congress legislators continued their boycott, holding a mock session and raising slogans in the corridors of the assembly complex, finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa wrapped up the insipid debate on his budgetary proposals by blaming the Centre for all ills afflicting the state's economy.
The budget discussion, in which only SAD-BJP members participated, was replete with compliments for the chief minister, deputy CM and the finance minister. And the FM returned the favour by thanking his colleagues. The Congress, which stayed out for most part of the session after nine of its MLAs were suspended, made news with its mock proceedings, but missed the opportunity to floor the ruling alliance in the House without hard facts about the state's wobbly fiscal position.
In the absence of the Congress legislators, the budgetary proposals were passed and the assembly adjourned sine die. The two-week session had started on an ominous note when governor Shivraj Patil snubbed the Badal government in his opening address. It then saw unruly scenes, with the Congress MLAs allegedly punching assembly marshals, climbing the chair of the assembly secretary and one of them even occupying the speaker's chair after a "police raid" on the legislature party office in the complex. Later, six Congress MLAs were booked by the Chandigarh police for allegedly assaulting a Punjab police head constable outside the House.