Punjab budget session: Opposition corners Congress leaders over illegal sand mining
Raking up the issue during the ‘zero hour’, leader of opposition in the assembly, Sukhpal Singh Khaira demanded vigilance probe into the allotment of mines in Punjab in one-year rule of the Congress.punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2018 09:25 IST
An uproar was witnessed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday over the issue of illegal sand mining with opposition MLAs training gun at the ruling Congress alleging connivance of party leaders in unauthorised quarrying in the state.
Raking up the issue during the ‘zero hour’, leader of opposition in the assembly, Sukhpal Singh Khaira demanded vigilance probe into the allotment of mines in Punjab in one-year rule of the Congress.
“A Congress minister has already resigned over illegal sand mining and the name of another minister cropped up when the chief minister clicked photographs of sand quarrying in Nawanshahr district from his chopper. If the CM has showed such a strong commitment on this illegal business, the government should at least order a vigilance probe into the matter,” Khaira said.
He also claimed that a Congress MLA was also involved in illegal sand mining in the Zira assembly segment of Ferozepur district. Khaira, however, praised Amarinder, who had left the House by then for a cabinet meeting, for launching a crackdown on illegal mining.
He also demanded that allotment of mines should be cancelled and the government should take over these mines extract sand itself and then sell it.
While participating in the debate on the governor’s address, Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains made a controversial remark which was later expunged on the speaker’s orders.
“The Bains brothers think they are the only honest and wise people in this assembly. We all condemn these utterly baseless allegations by a member,” Congress MLAs Kushaldeep Dhillon, Gurkirat Kotli and Vijay Inder Singla said in response to Bains’ remark.
On this, Simarjeet along with his elder brother and LIP MLA Balwinder Singh Bains raised slogans and walked out of the House. Outside the assembly, Simarjeet told the media that he tried to rake up the issue of the speaker’s son-in-law running a crusher but he was not allowed to speak.
Akali MLA Pawan Tinu slammed the government over the issue of non-payment of post-matric scholarships for scheduled caste (SC) students and accused it of going soft on private colleges which denied admissions to meritorious students from weaker sections.
Earlier, a verbal duel occurred when SAD legislator NK Sharma accused Congress MLA from Mohali Balbir Sidhu of having involvement in mining business in the Zirakpur area. Sidhu accused Sharma, also a realtor, of not paying penalty of crores of rupees in penalty the government imposed on him for violations by his realty firm.