Majithia, 11 SAD MLAs detained for blocking passage to Manpreet’s house; released
CHANDIGARH Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia and 11 party MLAs were detained when they were protesting outside Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s house in Sector 2 here on Friday morning, just before the latter was to leave for Vidhan Sabha to present the state budget.
As per police officials privy to the matter, SAD legislators were accompanied by family members of the farmers who had committed suicide due to debts. The protesters blocked the passage to Manpreet’s house in an attempt to prevent him from reaching the VIdhan Sabha.
As the passage of the minister’s house was blocked, Manpreet got late in reaching the House. After parliamentary affairs minister Brahm Mohindra informed the speaker Rana KP Singh about the reason behind the delay in minister’s arrival, the speaker declared that he will talk to the administration.
A heavy force from Sectors 3 and 17 police stations led by Chandigarh SSP was sent to the spot to lift the blockade and 80 odd protesters were detained.
Later, Mohindra moved a privilege motion against the SAD MLAs for blocking finance minister’s route and the move was also supported by the AAP members.
As per police, Majithia was taken to the Sector 17 police station, while 11 MLAs were taken to the Sector 3 police station. They were released around 3pm.
Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal also visited the Sector 3 police station to extend solidarity with the MLAs and the farm suicide victims’ families and said “it was shocking that the family members of the farmer suicide victim families were thrashed by the police”. “Such an incident has never happened in the history of the State”, he said, adding all they wanted was an audience with the finance minister.
“The families had approached the SAD-BJP legislative wing to help them in their cause and we joined the families at the spot. Repeated messages were sent to the finance minister to listen to their grievances but instead of doing that, he unleashed the police as well as his own gunmen on them and SAD-BJP legislators,” said Majithia.