“Not allowed to raise voice” inside the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in the weeklong session gone by, the opposition Congress held a mock assembly in the lounge on Wednesday after the House was adjourned indefinitely.
Blaming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), part of the ruling alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), for all the “ills” afflicting Punjab, former state Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar said that had the BJP supported the no-confidence motion of the Congress on December 23, 2014, the state would have been free of Akalis.
In the mock assembly, Fatehgarh Sahib legislator Kuljit Singh Nagra played chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Nabha MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot acted as deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, and to motivate shoe-thrower Tarlochan Singh Soondh, he was made the “speaker”.
Taking his share of publicity, state CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi kept rebuking Nagra the “Badal Saab”. Nagra also played along, rising with folded hands like the CM and saying in his tone that he has “huge respect for Jakhar and his father, Balram Jakhar”. Patiala MLA Preneet Kaur sat through the 90-minute session, enjoying every bit.
It was the second mock assembly by the Congress after the budget session of 2013. “After 2014, Punjab passed through a dark phase. The Akalis got involved in pesticide scam, Guru Granth Sahib was desecrated, Behbal Kalan firing incident happened, a Dalit was lynched in Abohar, Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur was killed, RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) state vice-president brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retired) was shot at,” Jakhar said, while addressing the mock assembly, adding that the BJP will face the consequences of supporting the Akalis.
Quoting from the Bhagvad Gita, Jakhar said the Akalis had no right to talk about Punjab, Punjabi, and Punjabiat, “as they have squeezed the last ounce of blood from the state”. Referring to BR Ambedkar’s old research in Columbia University, US, on how East India Company had robbed India, Jakhar said another Dalit child will rise from Punjab to find out how much the Badals looted it.
Hitting out at the deputy CM, Jakhar said “Sukhbir ran the government like a CMD (chairman-cum-managing director), not a DCM (deputy CM), using power as tool to run his business.”
On the alleged power scam, Jakhar said the state government had given away `7,000 crore to the new private electricity plants, while state-owned plants were idle.