M A I N   N E W S

Darbari Lal is Deputy Speaker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Professor Darbari Lal was today unanimously elected Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. He steps in the place of Mr Bir Devinder Singh, whose resignation was earlier accepted by the Speaker, Dr Kewal Krishan.

He was escorted to his seat next to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, leader of the Opposition, by Mr Lal Singh and Chaudhary Jagjit Singh. His name was proposed by Mr Lal Singh and seconded by Mr Partap Singh Bajwa.

Mr Darbari Lal was dropped as Minister of state on July 7. He has now been rehabilitated.

Though the opposition did not propose any name, Mr Badal, however, said the Opposition had no objection to Mr Darbari Lal or intended to obstruct the House but the leader of the Opposition should have been consulted, as was the practice.

He welcomed Mr Darbari Lal as his seat-mate and Deputy Speaker and hoped he would be more liberal and allow Opposition to raise its voice in the House and laughingly said, “Speaker sahib is hard on this”. This was the special sitting of the House today only for the purpose of passing the Punjab Termination of Agreements Bill-2004. The new members of the Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries had taken their new seats. But the Speaker, Dr Kewal Krishan, was still in the old frame of mind when he inadvertently called Mr Lal Singh as “Finance Minister”, when the latter wanted to speak on a point of order. At this Lal Singh said, he was no longer the Finance Minister but Co-operation Minister.

Capt Amarinder Singh greeted Mr Badal with folded hands and also others. He shook hands with Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and the two talked for a while.

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