SUSPENDED AKALI legislator Inderbir Singh Bolaria resigned from the Vidhan Sabha on Monday. Bolaria, who represented Amritsar South constituency, sent his resignation to Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal. The development comes a day before he is likely to join Congress. The resignation is also believed to be timed to pre-empt a bypoll. In his resignation letter, Bolaria said he was feeling “suffocated” for the past some time in the SAD-BJP government in the state.
Bolaria said “in the regime of the government that calls itself panthic, incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and of religious books of other religion occurred and the same are intolerable for me”. He added his demands on the issue of Bhagtanwala Dump and Solid Waste Management Plant, which he wanted to be set up away from Golden Temple, were ignored. He said he was concerned about the health of the people and also batted for basic civic amenities in the absence of which “people were daily dying due to diseases like dengue and chikungunya”.
Bolaria said Punjab was worst as far as law and order was concerned. “Due to bad policies of government, farmers, employees, traders and every section of the society have hit the roads [to lodge protest]. The economy of the state is also in a very bad condition,” Bolaria said in the resignation letter. Bolaria had been at loggerheads with SAD for a long time now. His differences with SAD leadership — he was once very close to Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia – is said to have stemmed from the controversial issue of Bhagtanwala dump and Solid Waste Management Plant.
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Meanwhile, an official at the Chief Election Office said a bypoll cannot be held if four and half years of tenure is over and six months are left for assembly elections. “Assembly elections can be announced anytime in the next six months to coincide with elections, if any, in some other state,” said the official.
In an interview with The Indian Express in April this year, Bolaria, after being removed as Chief Parliamentary Secretary, while responding to a query as to why he was not resigning as MLA despite confrontations with the SAD, had said: “If I resign, there is going to be a byelection. And in byelections, the kind of tactics (“hathkande te kareeke”) that SAD resorts to is common knowledge. I was elected by the people of my constituency. So I decided against resigning.” When contacted on Monday, Bolaria said, “I honestly do not have any idea if a bypoll would be held or not. I am ready for everything.”