Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Monday passed the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Amendment Bill, 2016. Though some of Congress MLAs had reservations about the provisions of the bill, the treasury benches managed to get the bill passed. Rubbishing the allegations of the Opposition that the bill was intended to get some criminals out on parole to avail their services in the forthcoming elections, Jail Minister Sohan Singh Thandal clarified that there was nothing very serious in the bill as it was a just facilitation for the convicts having genuine problems only.
He explained that the meaning of ‘sufficient cause’ for such parole with includes the serious damage to life or property of the member of the family caused by any natural calamity, critical condition of any member of the family on account of accident or illness, delivery of child by the wife of the prisoner, repair or renovation of house and agriculture and allied activities. He also explained that except some certain condition, the parole couldn’t be exceeded twelve weeks during a financial calendar year. Replying to the Opposition’s query, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal clarified that it had nothing to do with the Home Department as the subject comes under the preview of the Prisons Department only. The House also passed the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets (Second amendment) Bill and the Pepsu Townships Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2016, during the legislative business proceedings of the day.
PARGAT RESIGNS FROM SAD
Former hockey captain-turned-politician Pargat Singh on Monday resigned from the primary membership of the Shiromani Akali Dal. He submitted his resignation to the party’s office secretary Tara Singh in his office located in the Vidhan Sabha complex. Pargat, who represents Jalandhar Cantonment assembly constituency, was accompanied by two Independent MLAs, Bains brothers, Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, while handing over his resignation to the party office secretary.
It is worth mentioning that Pargat, who was under suspension for past few weeks, is the founder member of the Awaaz-e-Punjab, a forum headed by former BJP parliamentarian Navjot Singh Sidhu, with Bains brothers also founder members. After tendering his resignation, Pargat left his seat and sat along with Bains brothers, presenting himself as an Independent MLA. He also stood with Bains brothers when they were staging protest in the Vidhan Sabha for the state government not replying their query of ‘uncharged water flowing to Rajasthan.’ Pargat also sat in the well of the house, while accompanying Bains brothers. Later he went to his original seat but finding the speaker not allowing him to speak, he shifted his seat again but all his efforts went in vein and finally he left the house.
JAKHAR CORNERS GOVT
Former Leader of Opposition and the Congress party’s chief spokesman of Punjab unit Sunil Kumar Jakhar, who represents Abohar assembly segment, on Monday, reached Vidhan Sabha riding a motorcycle, bearing the banner ‘on government duty.’ He was accompanied by the CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi. It was, in fact, his gesture to expose the alleged irregularities in the payment of Food Supplies Department. Addressing the media persons, Jakhar informed that the motorcycle in question was bearing the registration number that was al legedly passed off as that of a truck to ‘transport’ foodgrains from mandis to godowns. Citing the CAG report where it was said that fake vehicle numbers were mentioned in the food grain transportation bills, the Congress leader claimed that he purchased the motorcycle in question recently from Patiala and now he would take it to all rallies to expose the scandalous activities of the department concerned. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Charanjit Singh Channi accused Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia and their associates of allegedly ‘patronising’ drug and sand mafias.
Congress disgraced democracy: CM
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday accused the Congress party of running away on a most frivolous excuse from full scale , free and fair debate on development, progress and governance in the state and ‘deliberately sabotaged’ discussion on it when the House took up the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition. Badal said that he had been deeply saddened by the manner in which the opposition chose to disgrace democracy. “This was a very sad day. It seems that the opposition was either totally non-serious or utterly unprepared to face the government in an open and full-fledged discussion on development.” said the Chief Minister.
Badal said that in a democracy the opposition parties desperately latch to any opportunity to discuss the government’s performance. “This was the first instance in history of a government wanting a discussion and the opposition running away from the discussion,” said Badal. The Chief Minister said that he watched the proceedings with complete surprise as he could not believe his eyes, watching the opposition throwing away an opportunity which it had demanded itself to confront the government on its performance.
Two independent MLAs from Ludhiana, Bains brothers kept on staging protest in the House over the same issue of uncharged water supply to Rajasthan, over which they were “thrown out” of the House on Friday. The two agitating MLAs after shouting for minutes, opted to sit in the Well of the House till the House was not adjourned.
Ferozepur MLA of Congress Parminder Singh Pinki expressed his annoyance against the Speaker and his own party for not getting time to speak. Standing on the seater, Pinki asked the Speaker: “I hope now I am able to draw your attention otherwise you see only the big leaders of the party.”
It was a day of chaos and sloganeering in the Vidhan Sabha where the legislators used so many derogatory words against each other which the Speaker and in his absence the two Chairmen, appointed subsequently, had to get expunged from record.
The House was adjourned for 25 minutes after paying an obituary in the beginning and then the Congress MLAs during the proceedings held walkout for once after the Speaker announced the time for Zero Hour over.
The agitating Congress MLAs jostled with the watch and ward staff of the Vidhan Sabha to reach up to the chair of Speaker to take control of it.
The Congress MLAs accused the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal of “directing” their party MLAs to create ruckus in the House.
The SAD badge controversy rocked the House as the Congress raised strong objection over the Chairmen Iqbal Singh Jhunda and Gurpartap Singh Wadala sitting on the Speaker’s chair in his absence with the party badge.
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