The demand of state Congress chief Amarinder Singh for intervention of Election Commission and his request to Punjab governor to “stall” one day Assembly session is totally “unwarranted and undemocratic”, the state Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said on Sunday. The EC has rightly decided not to entertain the demand and Punjab governor did not find it worth responding to, he added. The former Punjab Chief Minister had on Saturday alleged that the SAD-BJP government was trying to push “poll sops” through ordinances and urged the Election Commission to take immediate preventive steps. On Saturday, he described as unfortunate Punjab Governor’s decision to allow the special assembly session after having refused to sign the ordinances citing irregularities.
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Dhindsa said the Congress had no locus-standi to object to the proposed Vidhan Sabha session as all its legislators have resigned and shrugged off their responsibility as elected representatives. “If Congress is opposed to the bills likely to be passed in the assembly in the Monday session, then they should come to the assembly and participate in the debate and articulate their view point”, he said, adding their resignations are still under consideration and they are entitled to attend the session.
He said that Punjab government was justified in convening a special session as the governor had advised them to avoid the ordinance route and hence the government decided to hold the session to enact legislations. “What is unconstitutional in convening a session of assembly or in regularising contract employees”, asked Dhindsa, adding that either Amarinder is unaware of the constitutional provisions or he is opposed to give permanent employment to youth of Punjab.
“Dubbing it a back door session, Amarinder has demonstrated his political bankruptcy as the government is fully justified to take administrative decision till the imposition of code of conduct. Even afterwards, if needed, decisions can be taken with concurrence of the EC,” he said.
During his tenure as chief minister (2002-07), Amarinder had put blanket ban on recruitment in government and semi-government outfits and his government had taken no initiative to create job opportunities in private sector too, he said. And now, he is opposed to offering jobs to them, he added.
Ridiculing the allegations of Amarinder that the Akalis are “offering poll eve doles”, Dhindsa said, “the allegation is preposterous and that too from a person who had been offering huge doles like waiving farm loans of all farmers of the state and getting forms fulfilled for such waiver”.
Also, Amarinder had been floating another registration fraud by enrolling unemployed youth saying that at least one person from one family would get job or employment allowance, he said. “How Amarinder is dishing out huge doles without any authority – even prior to elections in which his party has not even remote prospect of coming to power”, said Dhindsa.
“Ironically, Amarinder first opposed tooth and nail the SAD-BJP move to pass some ordinances and now when the government decided to hold one day session to pass legislations, he is again up in arms which is totally absurd and unbecoming of a leader of the stature of former chief minister,” he said.