Chandigarh, March 6
Pandemonium prevailed during a discussion on the Governor’s address as heated argument took place between Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa on the second day of the Budget session on Monday. The House also saw a 15-minute adjournment after Congress MLAs walked into the well of the House, seeking apology from the CM, stating that he had threatened them with arrest in Vigilance cases.
The verbal spat between the two leaders touched a new low when Bajwa drew parlance between action by central investigation agencies against AAP leaders in Delhi and vigilance action by Punjab’s AAP government against opponents as he referred to AAP MP Raghav Chadha statement that the BJP flag should be put on the offices of the central investigating agencies.
The CM, objecting to Bajwa’s statement against the treasury benches for plundering the wealth of the state, said no person involved in looting public money would be spared.
Congress leaders to meet Governor today
- Punjab Congress leaders led by Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa will meet Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday, seeking a probe into the state’s excise policy, besides raising other issues.
- Sources said after the heated argument between Bajwa and CM Bhagwant Mann, the party was likely to take up the issue of Opposition leaders being “threatened with Vigilance cases”.
- The party is expected to flag the issue of allotment of sand mines, besides the law and order issues.
- Earlier, while addressing mediapersons outside the House, Bajwa said, “The threatening posture of the CM is not acceptable. The CM must apologise for his behaviour in the House.”
- Former Deputy CM and Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Randhawa condemned the CM for “hitting a new low” on the floor of the House.
- “We dare the CM to do what he wants. We accept the challenge thrown by him. The CM should be answerable for the gang war in Goindwal Jail,” he said.
Accusing the Leader of the Opposition of shielding his corrupt party leaders, the CM told Bajwa that though these leaders were sitting with him on these seats, they, too, would also have to pay for their crime soon as he hinted at former CM Charanjit Singh Channi.
“Changing the party will not help former Congress ministers,” said the CM as the Leader of the Opposition alleged double standards by the ruling party as former minister Fauja Singh Sarari had not been arrested. Even action had not been taken against his own party Rajya Sabha MPs Balbir Singh Seechewal and Ashok Mittal of Lovely Professional University (LPU), who have encroached upon several acres of panchayat land.
The CM reminded Bajwa that a former Chief Minister of his party had submitted a list of corrupt ministers and MLAs during his tenure to the Congress high command. Instead of acting against them, his high command sat over the list to avert embarrassment for the party, which had exposed the real face of the Congress.
Earlier, Bajwa targeted the CM stating that the latter “intentionally” or “unknowingly” walked into the Centre’s trap by asking for 18 companies of central paramilitary forces after the Ajnala incident.
In the same breath, he hinted at intelligence failure over the incident.
“The Centre has been discriminating with Punjab, be it stopping the rural development fund or not allow state tableau on Republic Day. By asking for paramilitary forces, you have allowed the Centre’s interference,” Bajwa said.
PPCC chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also targeted the treasury benches over Amritpal. A brief argument also took place between the CM and Congress MLA Sukhpal Khaira.
Earlier, the discussion on the Governor’s address was initiated by AAP Amritsar (East) Jeevanjot followed by MLA Principal Budh Ram, who praised the government for various initiatives. Other MLAs who spoke included Jagdeep Goldy, Jagroop Gill, Gurmeet Kudian, Sarvjit Manuke, SAD MLA Dr Sukhwinder Sukhi and BSP’s Nachattarpal.
After the House was adjourned for lunch, the CM did not return and Congress MLAs insisted on seeking his apology for targeting the Opposition MLAs.
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