Updated: March 5, 2021 11:37:39 am
Legislators of the AAP and SAD on Thursday walked out of the Punjab Assembly over the issues of high tax on fuel prices and “non-implementation” of the 85th Constitutional amendment pertaining to extending reservation in promotions to Scheduled Caste employees.
During the Zero Hour on the fourth day of the Budget Session, Shiromani Akali Dal legislative wing leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon took up the issue of fuel price and demanded an assurance from the government in the reduction of value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
Dhillon said the SAD is ready to join the state government and approach the Centre to reduce prices of petroleum products. “We are even ready to go to Delhi and hold a protest on this issue,” he said.
SAD MLAs then reached the well of the House and raised slogans against the government, before staging a walk out of the Assembly.
Before the start of the session, the SAD MLAs arrived at Punjab Vidhan Sabha on bullock carts to protest the Congress-led government “not giving people any relief from high diesel and petrol prices”.
The AAP legislators staged a walkout on the issue of “non-implementation” of the 85th constitutional amendment pertaining to extending reservation in promotions to scheduled caste employees.
Before walking out of the House, AAP MLA Harpal Singh Cheema and other legislators expressed resentment over the non-implementation of the constitutional amendment in the state.
Cheema stated that the Punjab government had issued a notification ordering implementation of these amendments and accused the Department of Personnel of issuing a different notification which put a “roadblock” in its implementation.
Akali MLA Baldev Khaira sought the launch of privilege proceedings against Congress legislator Raj Kumar Chabbewal, accusing him of lying in the House that the 85th constitutional amendment pertaining to extending reservation had been implemented in the state.
Baldev Khaira said strict action should be taken against Chabbewal for trying to “deceive” the House as well as Punjabis. There was intense despair amongst SC employees that the 85th amendment was not being enforced in the state despite repeated promises, he said.
During the question hour, Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra said a water supply and sewerage project at Fazilka could not be completed because of non-performance by a private company that was awarded the project. He was replying to a question of Congress MLA Raminder Singh Awla.
Rebel AAP legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the same company failed to carry out a project in his constituency and sought a vigilance probe into the matter.
On Akali MLA Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra’s question of building a stadium in the name of martyr Lance Naik Salim Khan at Marddaheri village in Patiala under Khelo India scheme, Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said for this a piece of land should be transferred in the name of the sports department along with a resolution of the village.
SAD legislator Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra took an exception to Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s statement that agriculture research should be taken over by the Centre. However, Badal clarified that he meant that the onus of giving funds for agriculture research should be on the Centre.
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