Even as the Punjab government has called a special session of the Assembly on Wednesday, Congress MLAs who had resigned from the Assembly last week in protest against the Supreme Court verdict on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal issue are still a part of the Vidhan Sabha as the Speaker is yet to accept their resignations.
Congress’s 42 MLAs and an Independent legislator who is an associate member of the party in Assembly had submitted their resignations to Vidhan Sabha secretary Shashi Lakhanpal Mishra stating they did not want to be a part of the dispensation that could not protect the interests of people of Punjab on SYL issue.
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Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal told the Indian Express their resignations had not been accepted yet. “Because of holidays, I was not able to look at them. The office opens on Tuesday. I will go and see. The resignations are under consideration,” he said.
Atwal said that as per rules, the members who have resigned should be able to satisfy the Speaker, who has to ensure the resignations were submitted voluntarily, without any pressure and were genuine. The Speaker could ascertain it with his own agency, he said.
Congress fears the Speaker may not accept the resignations on Tuesday since the ruling SAD-BJP combine would leave no stone unturned to get it recorded in Vidhan Sabha that the Congress “deserted” the house when the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had given a call to all political parties to get together on SYL issue.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal issued a statement Monday the Congress had run away from the SYL issue.
CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi, however, said they were not rattled, “We already know they would resort to all this. But we have resigned and we consider ourselves not a part of the Assembly. The government is not serious. They were not able to get an assent of the Punjab Governor when we supported them in denotifying the land acquisition bill for SYL earlier this year. We know our resignations will be accepted after the session only, “ he said.
Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh also asked Badal to clearly spell out the agenda for the special session of the Assembly.
“Give us an assurance that any new legislation on SYL, passed during the special session, would be approved by the Governor and the BJP-led government at the Centre,” he said.