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Punjab: Not allotted house yet, leader of opposition HS Phoolka says ‘won’t demand’

Phoolka told HT that he was contacted by the Vidhan Sabha secretariat regarding oath and completing other formalities, but there was no communication from the government side

punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2017 21:30 IST
Gurpreet SIngh Nibber
Gurpreet SIngh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
HS Phoolka,Punjab govt,Rana KP Singh
Punjab assembly’s leader of opposition HS Phoolka.(HT File Photo)

The new Congress government has allotted bungalows and given other privileges, such as vehicles, to all its ministers and other political appointees, but it is yet to extend the benefits to the leader of opposition, HS Phoolka, of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Phoolka told HT that he was contacted by the Vidhan Sabha secretariat regarding oath and completing other formalities, but there was no communication from the government side.“I will not demand, I leave it to the discretion of the government,” he said, adding that the new government wants to fulfil the needs of their party’s functionaries first, ignoring the protocol. Phoolka said he would not refuse the privileges he is entitled to as the leader of opposition .

Phoolka met pro tem speaker Rana KP Singh to discuss modalities of the opening session of the 15th Vidhan Sabha. As per reports, minister Charanjit Singh Channi has decided to retain bungalow number 46 in Sector 2 here, which he was allotted as the leader of opposition in the Akali-BJP regime.

“When there’s a designated house for the leader of opposition, why change it,” Phoolka said. Meanwhile, principal secretary, general administration, KAP Sinha, said the allotment will be made only after the leader of opposition takes over.

‘Will keep govt on toes over promises’

Phoolka said his party will put pressure on the Congress to fulfil the promises it had made during the poll campaign. “Their (Congress party’s) manifesto should be the Bible now, because people of Punjab have elected them on the basis of promises in the document,” he said.

“We will not act as a weak opposition like the Congress was in the previous government,” he said, adding the government needed to take immediate steps on drugs, farmers’ debt, employment, rehabilitation of the addicts and the SYL canal issue.

First Published: Mar 22, 2017 20:27 IST