ALTHOUGH the forthcoming Budget session of the Assembly is going to be short, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) intends to utilise whatever time it gets in attacking the government over a multitude of issues ranging from farmer suicides to sand mining mafia in the state. The session, which begins on June 14, will have only six effective days to hold discussions and the leader of the Opposition, H S Phoolka, has suggested to Speaker Rana KP Singh that the Assembly should function from morning till evening instead of being adjourned for lunch. “We must hold double sittings in order to make do with whatever time there is and there is no harm in holding double sittings to raise and discuss important issues,” said Phoolka.
The failure of the government to prevent farmer suicides would be the biggest issue to be raised by AAP during the session. Phoolka said the sand scam in itself was a major issue and had bigger ramifications than just the involvement of Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh’s involvement in it. “The Congress, instead of finishing the sand mafia, has, in fact, promoted it and the situation is no different than what it was during the tenure of the Akalis.”
Along with Phoolka, those who will take on the treasury benches during the session would be Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, state co-president Aman Arora and Lok Insaaf Party MLAs Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjeet Singh Bains, who support AAP in the House. Incidentally, no solution has been found to the seating problem in opposition benches as AAP has turned down the arrangement proposed by the Speaker in which the two LIP MLAs were seated in the second row. Khaira said the party would fine-tune its floor strategy at a meeting of party MLAs in Chandigarh on Friday. “The failure of the government to waive the loans of farmers which has resulted in more farmers committing suicide is definitely going to be a major issue in this session. The chief minister also has to be held accountable for the sand mine auction scam,” he asserted.
Phoolka said the other issues the party intends to highlight is the fact that the Congress has done precious little to fulfil its promise of providing government jobs to the youth.