Special one-day session: Sangrur Dalit’s murder, Maha drama echo in Punjab assembly
The brutal murder of a Dalit construction worker, Jagmail Singh (37), in Sangrur and the ongoing political drama in Maharashtra dominated the special one-day session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday held to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of Indian Constitution.
Referring to the Sangrur incident, the MLAs called for efforts to fight for the rights of the downtrodden. They also discussed the role BR Ambedkar played as an architect of the Constitution which was adopted in 1949.
Congress’ Raj Kumar Verka, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Jai Kishan Rori and Akali Dal’s Sukhwinder Kumar and Pawan Tinu raised the issue of atrocities against Dalits, saying the real tribute to BR Ambedkar would be to maintain the dignity of the underprivileged.
The MLAs of treasury benches and of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) raised concern over development in Maharashtra as how the institution of governor was undermined when oath was administered to BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister in a hurried manner in the wee hours.
Leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema told the House the central government was making attempts to lower dignity of the Constitution. AAP legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan also termed the political scenario in the state as unfortunate, saying the institution of governor was demolished.
Cheema also called upon the Punjab lawmakers to make efforts for implementation of the 85th Constitutional amendment in the state. Sandhwan referred to anti-Sikh riots of 1984 as blot on the Constitution.
On the issue of alleged “phone-tapping” that was raised by Congress MLAs from CM Capt Amarinder Singh’s home district Patiala, Akali Dal’s Bikram Singh Majithia said keeping watch on legislators was a violation of constitutional provisions and also the the Supreme Court’s directions.
He urged speaker Rana KP Singh to clear the status of the MLAs who have resigned from the parties on the symbols of which they won the election. “Sir, by not taking action, you are also under scrutiny,” he told the speaker.
Of three AAP MLAs, two have withdrawn their resignations. The former minister also pointed out that the appointment of advisers to the CM by the state government was against the Constitution.
Urging the MLAs to protect the country’s institutions, finance minister Punjab Manpreet Singh Badal cited the example of Pakistan as how a country which was economically sound at time of Partition failed because its citizens did not stand up to protect the dignity of their institutions.
He, however, drew flak from the members of opposition when he tried to justify the emergency imposed by the Congress government as an attempt to save the country from instability.
Former Akali minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa termed emergency a “black mark” on the country’s history. “The essence with which the Constitution was written is missing. We should learn from the UK which has no written constitution and functions on conventions,” he said.
Concluding the discussion, rural development and panchayats minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said everyone in the country focused on their rights with little concern about their duties.
“I accept that the 1984 riots should not have happened but nobody talks about communal killings in Gujarat. People remember the emergency as a black spot on India’s history. But what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir where the basic rights of people have been taken away?” Bajwa questioned.
He referred to the oath-taking of Fadanvis as Maharashtra CM as a constitutional joke and raised concerns over weakening of institutions such as the CBI and the Election Commission (EC).
The Delhi Commission for Women on Thursday asked the city police to submit a complete report by August 14 on the action taken on a rape complaint by three girls studying in a Delhi government school. The commission also asked police to confirm that the three minor girls were produced before the child welfare committee as required by law, and a copy of the order issued by the committee.
In the first Cabinet meeting after taking oath on Wednesday, chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Tejashwi Yadav, decided to convene the Bihar assembly session on August 24 to seek trust vote. The session was delayed as speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha refused to quit and promoted ruling alliance to move a no-confidence motion. Former speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary said it will be taken first on the day the House convenes.
Two young men were stabbed during a Muharram procession at the Mallasamudra village in Karnataka's Gadag on Tuesday, according to reports. The injured have been identified as Tousif Hosamani and Mushtaq Hosamani. One of the two young men is battling for his life. Both are being treated at the Gadag Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital. Police have registered a case against six men in the incident.
The Campus Front of India has objected to a 'Bharat Mata pooja' scheduled to be held today at a university in Mangaluru - one of the areas at the heart of the hijab ban in Karnataka - and wanted to know why the university had allowed a pooja with a poster holding up a saffron flag instead of the tricolour, news agency PTI reported.
A cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu on Thursday led to a house collapse in which a woman and A 55-year-old woman, Chavelu Devi's granddaughter died, while 10 shops were washed away and three vehicles were damaged in the district. The director of the State Disaster Management Authority, Sudesh Mokta said rains during the past 24 hours have disrupted life in the district. The heavy rain also damaged electricity infrastructure in the area. In Mandi district, national highway 21 was blocked after a landslide on Thursday morning.