THE AAM Aadmi Party (AAP) registered a loud protest in the Assembly Friday over the issue of truncated winter session and staged a walkout after protesting in the well of the House while the SAD-BJP MLAs took on the Congress over special favours being allegedly bestowed upon Chadha Sugar Mills in Gurdaspur district.
AAP MLA from Sunam, Aman Arora, said the number of sittings of the House had been reduced to just half a day effectively and that there were many pertinent issues concerning the people of the state which needed to be raised. Arora said that there were several questions and calling attention motions from his party which had not been entertained by the Speaker. He disagreed with the contention that there was not enough business to conduct in the house therefore the number of sittings had been reduced and added that nearly 250 questions had been submitted by AAP MLAs besides adjournment motions and calling attention notices.
SAD MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa also spoke out against the reduced duration of the session and said that he had raised his objection in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting too on Thursday. He also objected to the BAC report not being tabled in the house and said that this should be done without fail. “Adjournment motions moved by our MLAs have been rejected on frivolous grounds and then you say there is no business,” he said to the Speaker, Rana KP Singh. Dhindsa added that the adjournment motions were on important issues like pending payment to farmers for the sugarcane crop and other problems faced by them.
Aman Arora tore the papers lying on his desk and flung them towards the Speaker’s seat. Even as AAP MLAs gathered in the well of the house and shouted slogans demanding longer session and debate on critical issues, the four rebel AAP MLAs present in the house did not join them.
Later, SAD MLAs Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal and Bikram Singh Majithia attacked the treasury benches over the pollution caused by the distillery in Chadha Sugar Mills in Kiri Afghana village in Gurdaspur. Majithia leveled the allegation that the Congress government was going soft on the mill because it was being run by the a relative of Paramjit Singh Sarna, the religious adviser to CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
Majithia said that strict action should have been taken against the owners of the mill as the waters were still being polluted in the area but the government had instead just booked a manager of the mill. “Neither Rs five crore fine imposed by the Punjab Pollution Control Board has been deposited in full nor a boundary wall made as ordered and neither has a stainless steel container been made for preventing spillage,” he said.
The water resources minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said Rs 2 crore had been deposited by the mill out of the Rs five crore fine and that the rest will also be deposited soon. He said that the mill had been allowed to start functioning due to the cane crushing season and demand of farmers. He also listed several measures instituted by the government so that no spillage of molasses occurs from the mill in the future.