Updated: March 2, 2021 11:07:41 pm
Shiromani Akali Dal and AAP MLAs on Tuesday lashed out at Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K P Singh for not disqualifying AAP MLAs who they said came under the ambit of anti-defection law. The opposition leaders accused Rana of sitting over the issue for a long time now.
As Bikram Singh Majithia of SAD and Harpal Singh Cheema of AAP, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the House, fired salvos at the Speaker on the issue during Zero Hour on the second day of budget session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Rana K P Singh hit back by saying: “Speaker would act as per law and when convinced.”
The Speaker said if anybody has a problem, then they are free to approach the court.
Addressing the Speaker, Cheema said that he had even written to him to take action under anti-defection law against “our colleagues” (who had defected). Cheema accused Rana of dilly-dallying on the matter on pretexts such as “will frame rules on this and others”.
“Why are you saving them? Your office is committing a gross violation of Constitution…Why don’t you take the decision?” Cheema said while addressing Rana.
“Whatever is there is as per law. You can also go,” Rana shot back.
He added: “First thing is that the (Vidhan Sabha) Speaker would act as per the law. Secondly, the legislature in its own wisdom…the honourable Parliament in its wisdom has put no time limit. Whenever the Speaker is convinced, he will act.”
It all started after Majithia accused Vidhan Sabha Speaker of taking anti-defection “for a ride for nearly five years”.
Without naming anyone, Majithia asked the Speaker to take action against MLAs who left their parent parties to join others. “No decision has been taken yet, then what is the use of the anti-defection law?” he asked.
Majithia’s remarks came as he reacted to a “suggestion” made by AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu, who is under suspension by the AAP party, where Sandhu sought a joint deliberation by the House to put an end to the ruckus inside the House.
Referring to the ruckus during Governor’s Address on Monday where copies of his speech were torn and set afire by opposition MLAs and calling it a “wrong tradition”, Sandhu said the House should discuss the issue and that “there should be a system”.
Referring to proposal of Punjab Vidhan Sabha going paperless and digital — an announcement to that effect was made by the Speaker in Vidhan Sabha earlier, Sandhu said, “Tomorrow, they will throw touch screens…Why water bottles are not kept here, because these could also be thrown at each other. Some action should be taken in this regard.”
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