Updated: March 4, 2021 12:00:34 pm
Members of opposition parties in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), staged walkout from Punjab Vidhan Sabha on the third day of the ongoing budget session, the former on the issue of hike in electricity tariff and the latter on the issues concerning employees which included non-implementation of Pay Commission in the state, pending dearness allowance (DA), abolishing a number of sanctioned government posts by re-structuring vacancies, issue relating to regularising contractual employees and government’s decision to give pay scales on the lines of Central scales in new recruitments, which the SAD said were lesser than state pay scales.
The SAD was first to stage walkout towards the end of zero hour after it had raised the issue of keeping gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari in a jail and seeking explanation from the government. The SAD legislators came to the well raising slogans.
They protested against rejection of the substantive motion moved by SAD MLA Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra demanding a discussion on the “discrimination being meted out to government employees” before staging the walkout.
Moments later, the AAP MLAs staged a walkout in protest against increase in electricity tariff. Earlier in the zero hour, the issues raised by the AAP included post-matric scholarship scheme where it accused the state government of “not sending utilisation certificates” to the Centre and putting “future of lakhs of students in danger”.
Both AAP and SAD legislators, however, came back in the House later to participate in the remaining proceedings and discussion on the Governor’s address.
Earlier in the day, the SAD leaders led by legislative group leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon burnt an effigy of the Congress government outside the Vidhan Sabha.
Raising slogans including “Pay Commission Lagu Karo” (implement the Pay Commission) and “Mulazama Da Bakaya Jaari Karo” (release the arrears of employees), the SAD legislators said Rs “6,000 crores were due to government employees on account of Dearness Allowance”.
They said “similarly the government was deliberately delaying the Sixth Pay Commission by giving repeated extensions to it and not asking the Commission to submit its report”.
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