Chandigarh:The last session of the 14th Punjab Vidhan Sabha may have ended on stormy note last week (September 14) with a serious confrontation between the treasury benches and Congress opposition on a host of issues, but on the whole, the assembly transacted important legislative business during its five-year tenure. Despite stormy proceedings, most of its sittings have been quite productive.
Till now, the present assembly, which was constituted on March 19, 2012, has held a total of 13 sessions, including five budget sessions in which the Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa presented his annual budgets. The inaugural sessions were addressed three times by governor S K Patil (2012, 2013 and 2014) and twice by Kaptan Singh Solanki (2015 and 2016). Solanki was replaced last month by V K Singh Badnour as the new governor of Punjab.
In all, the House had a total of 75 sittings spread over 13 sessions, according to data provided by the Vidhan Sabha secretariat.
As many as 59 call attention motions were taken up by the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance and Congress members during these sittings which were duly replied to by the government. A total of 901 starred questions were put by members during the question hour held at the beginning every of sitting. The number of un-starred questions has been put at 276.
In the assembly poll held in February, 2012, the SAD failed to get a majority of its own in the 117-seat House. When the 14th Vidhan Sabha came into being nearly five years ago the party position was as follows: SAD 56, BJP 12, Congress 46 and Independents three. But since then it has undergone a change. Shiromani Akali Dal has gone on to acquire a majority of its own by attracting members from Congress. The present party strength in the House is: SAD 60, BJP 12, Congress 42 and Independents three.
The tenure of the 14th Vidhan Sabha ends on March 18, 2017 or constitution of the new Vidhan Sabha through elections due in early 2017, whichever is earlier. Till then, the House is fully competent to transact any official business if the government so desires.
SAD MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha feels that the government should convene a special session of the House to discuss the undermining of the dignity and decorum of the House by the Congress MLA Tarlochan Soond, who threw a shoe towards treasury benches on the last date of the session. Valtoha has already sent a notice of a privilege motion against Soond to the Speaker.
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