M A I N   N E W S

Cong looks to corner govt over Majithia
Punjab Assembly session begins today
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha is set to corner the government on the Enforcement Directorate (ED) naming Revenue Minister Bikram Majithia and Jail Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur’s son Damanvir in the Rs 5,000-crore drug racket.

The Congress also plans to put the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) alliance on the defensive over unemployment and poor state of industry during the Vidhan Sabha session commencing tomorrow. CLP leader Sunil Jakhar said: “We will like the government to answer how such serious allegations involving state ministers were being overlooked.”

The ED has summoned Damanvir Singh on the basis of main accused Jagdish Bhola’s disclosure that he had introduced Varinder Raja, an alleged Delhi-based synthetic drug supplier to a Goraya-based businessman.

The week-long session on the eve of parliamentary elections is expected to generate a lot of heat with both the treasury and the Opposition vying to show their political strength with a view to influence voters.

SAD general secretary and spokesperson Daljit Cheema said: “The House will pass a vote on account instead of a full-fledged Budget on account of forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Starting with the Governor’s address, the government will highlight the work undertaken by the SAD-BJP for public welfare in different fields. We expect constructive inputs from the Opposition.”

Jakhar said: “We will like to expose the government’s false claims on opening new industries in the state. We have data based on reply to a RTI application, provided by government, which gives a list of industry that had closed down during the recent years.

“We also want to expose the government on employment in the state when there were no new industries or jobs. Where will the government create new jobs from when they do not have money to pay salaries to the serving employees and pensions to the retired?”

Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said: “I will appeal to both parties to engage in a meaningful debate during the session to lend a purpose to the whole exercise.”

Congress MLA Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said: “The recently launched ‘Rahat’ scheme for businessmen who choose to pay lump sum tax is politically motivated given the way the father-son duo (Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal) have their pictures pasted on the certificates.” The Congress, he said, will raise the issue in the House.

We want to expose the government on employment in the state when there are no new industries or jobs
Sunil Jakhar, clp leader

I will appeal to both parties to engage in a meaningful debate during the session
—Daljit Cheema, sad general secretary





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