Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on September 12 accused Congress of “running away” and “deliberately sabotaging” the debate on a no-confidence motion in the Assembly. Utter chaos was witnessed in the House throughout the day. Leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Charanjit Singh Channi initially complained about less time being alloted to his party legislators during the debate.
Later the Congress members stormed into the Well over MLA Iqbal Singh Jhundan, who was conducting the proceedings, sporting an Akali Dal badge.
Badal said he was 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 not serious or utterly unprepared to face the government in an open and full fledged discussion on development,” Badal said.
“In a democracy, the Opposition parties desperately latch on to any opportunity to discuss the government’s performance. This was the first instance in history where a government wanted a discussion and the Opposition was running away from it,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that he watched the proceedings with complete surprise as the Opposition was throwing away an opportunity which it had demanded.
“Perhaps they had sought permission for a no confidence motion only as a publicity gimmick and did not seriously think that the government would show such prompt readiness to accept the challenge. In the end, they were just inventing excuses to run away,” he said.
“We were very pleased over this no confidence motion as it created an opportunity for us to talk about our performance at great length. The Congress realised this and therefore did not allow it to materialise,” Badal said.
Badal said that the Congress used a “flippant excuse” of a SAD MLA sporting a party badge to run away from discussion.
During the debate, Congress members had objected to Akali MLA Iqbal Singh Jhundan sporting an Akali Dal badge.
They rushed to the Well of the House and demanded that Jhundan remove the badge, saying he needed to be “impartial” while seated in the Speaker’s chair.
“Is a party badge the most important issue of the people of Punjab,” Badal said.