With various political activities being lined up to take place, Thursday is set to be a day of happenings of Punjab politics. At first, the Punjab Assembly is scheduled to have a brief Monsoon Session beginning here on Thursday, which is all set to be a stormy affair with opposition Congress geared up to put the ruling SAD-BJP combine in the dock on issues like alleged poor law and order situation and drug menace.
Having faced major embarrassment in the previous session for the shabby performance of its leadership in the House, the Congress this time has asked its MLAs to ensure their presence in the House all through the session. The Monsoon Session is likely to be the last one of the present Parkash Singh Badal government as the state is heading for assembly polls early next year.
Claiming that the Akali-BJP combine government has ‘failed’ on all fronts, CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi says that it is the right time to ‘expose’ them in the Assembly. However, the Akali Dal is prepared to thump its chest for the ‘record development’ that has taken place during the Badal regime, as was claimed by a party spokesman.
The session is expected to ratify the constitutional amendment on the GST Bill as well. Besides, there are many more issues on the agenda of the Vidhan Sabha, which will be taken up during the session. Notably, both the Congress and SAD have summoned their Legislature Party meetings here on Thursday immediately after the obituary references are made in the House.
On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is arriving Punjab on Thursday. He is scheduled to undertake a four-day visit to this poll-bound state, where he has set his programme to hear out the grievances of party workers. Till date, Ludhiana, Moga, Patiala and Amritsar districts are on his tour plan. It is not only the AAP but all political parties are curious to see his presence and conduct here as his visit carries much significance for it being planned at a time when the party is facing ‘crisis’ over several issues including sacking of Sucha Singh Chhotepur as Punjab convener and charges of immoral activities being levelled against the party leaders.
During his tour, the national convener will meet party volunteers, workers, including those who are angry over not getting party tickets, amid growing voices of rebels, informed a senior party leader. All his moves are aimed at winning 2017 Assembly polls and for that, he will be meeting volunteers, observers and workers.
It is pertinent to mention that Chhotepur is also carrying ‘Punjab Parivartan Yatra’ on the parallel and meeting volunteers to suggest him the future course of action. And he has been deriving good enough support from the volunteers. Though the AAP on Monday got ‘unconditional’ support of Jagmeet Singh Brar led ‘Lok Hit Abhiyan,’ the formation of Awaaz-e-Punjab front by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu along with MLA Pargat Singh and two Ludhiana MLA brothers Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Bains is also a concern for the AAP. The formal launch of Awaz-e-Punjab also coincides with Kejriwal’s visit in Punjab as Sidhu and his allies have invited a press meet on Thursday to make the major announcement.
Making the formation of the political outfit public in a formal way, Sidhu is likely to put an end to all speculation of his joining the AAP. All four faces of the new outfit are anti-Akali Dal faces. So, the creation of the group is disturbing the Congress and AAP more than the SAD-BJP alliance as they understand it well that now there will be another player to eat into the share of votes committed to go against the ruling alliance.
Vidhan Sabha Session, beginning on Thursday, set to be stormy. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal led SAD-BJP government likely to counter opposition onslaught with their development claims. Monsoon Session is likely to be the last sitting of the current Assembly.
Arvind Kejriwal starts his Punjab tour. In the past few days, his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has seen more than enough upheavals marked by resignations and polarisations in favour of Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was removed as the party’s Punjab convener.
Navjot Singh Sidhu will announce the formal launch of Awaz-E-Punjab. This new front is seen as a potential threat to the polarisation of anti-SAD-BJP alliance votes in the state. Sidhu also likely to clear air about his future course of action.
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