AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu wants Punjab assembly session every month
The AAP leader said monthly sessions of the assembly will ensure that the whole state government machinery remains on toes and there is regular accountability of not only legislators but also of the government officers.punjab Updated: Mar 25, 2018 21:32 IST
An Aam Aadmi Party MLA has suggested that the Punjab Assembly session is convened for five days every month to make the state government and the legislators more responsive to the people.
In a three-page letter yesterday (Saturday) sent to Assembly speaker Rana K P Singh, AAP senior leader Kanwar Sandhu has suggested 12 sessions in a year - one session every month with at least five sittings.
This would mean 60 sittings in a year.
He has suggested amending rule 14-A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business Rules, which now provides for three sessions in a year and the total number of sittings in all the three sessions put together to be not less than 40.
“Unfortunately, this Rule which is being violated with impunity, be amended to provide for 12 sessions in a financial year, with every session to have not less than five sittings,” he said in a statement here today.
Sandhu said a copy of the letter has been marked to Punjab parliamentary affairs minister Brahm Mohindra.
The AAP leader said monthly sessions of the Assembly will ensure that the whole state government machinery remains on toes and there is regular accountability of not only legislators but also of the government officers.
“This will also ensure that the peoples’ problems reflected by their respective MLAs in the form of Questions raised during Question Hour get answered on a regular basis.
“Now since the House meets after three or four months, the Questions pile up, between 500 to 1,000 for every session, and less than 20 per cent are taken up during a session,” he said.
Holding a session every month would bring about a responsive government, he claimed.
The letter states that House sittings every month would also raise the level of debate, with MLAs being forced to take up issues of their constituencies.
“As of now, bereft of any significant legislative role, the principal avocation of MLAs is to attend ‘bhogs’ and functions in their areas. While this is an excellent exercise in social outreach... this is not what MLAs ought to be paid for,” he said in his letter to the Speaker.
Sandhu said in order to bring about greater transparency in legislative and administrative functioning, all meetings of various committees of the Vidhan Sabha should be open to the media.
Referring to the increasing tendency by the opposition MLAs to resort to frequent walkouts, shouting and crosstalk “in order to grab media headlines”, Sandhu has suggested that rules be amended to prescribe that if MLAs walk out, sit in the well of the House on a particular day or defy the chair frequently, they be marked absent for that day.
The Kharar MLA has demanded that these suggestions may be put up for discussion in the House during the current budget session, which ends on March 28, in wider public interest.