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Punjab: Opposition takes on govt over debt waiver, disrupts House

Led by part chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, Akali MLAs immediately rushed to the well, raising slogans. A few minutes later, SAD patriarch Badal also walked in and joined the protesting legislators.

punjab Updated: Mar 21, 2018 23:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal legislators protesting against the Congress govt over debt waiver during the ongoing budget session at Punjab Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Wednesday.(Keshav Singh/HT)

Legislators of the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a vociferous protest in the Punjab assembly over failure of the Congress government to fulfil its promise for complete debt waiver to farmers.

The SAD-BJP MLAs came to the House wearing black robes as a sign of protest,and the protest even saw former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in the well of the House before speaker Rana KP Singh adjourned the proceedings for 30 minutes during Zero Hour.

Later in the day, during the debate on the governor’s address, AAP MLAs staged a walkout over rejection of an adjournment motion moved by leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira over farmer suicides and debt waiver. Khaira said the government is not serious on the cause of farmers and 380 have committed suicide in the year since Congress took over the government.

During Zero Hour before it, Khaira and Akali MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa were on their feet to raise issues. Khaira raised the special task force’s (STF) report on the drug racket, but the speaker ruled that the matter is sub judice and hence cannot be taken up. Dhindsa drew his attention to his party’s adjournment motion on farm debt waiver that had been rejected on the grounds that a similar motion submitted by the AAP was also not accepted. “This is no grounds for rejection. Why are we here if we cannot discuss such important matters?” he said.

Led by part chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, Akali MLAs immediately rushed to the well, raising slogans. A few minutes later, SAD patriarch Badal also walked in and joined the protesting legislators.

Amid this, Congress MLA Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi suggested that a resolution be unanimously passed to demand from the Centre compensation of Rs 1 crore and a job for kin of each of 27 persons from the state killed in Iraq. The speaker repeatedly asked them to go back to their seats. When they refused to budge, the House was adjourned for 30 minutes.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 23:25 IST