March 10, 2021 9:49:14 am
Cutting across party lines, Punjab legislators on Tuesday condemned Enforcement Directorate raids on the premises of rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa first raised the issue during zero hour saying that the ED raids were “not due to any violation of law, but were due to political intimidation”. Dhindsa said Khaira had been targeted because he took on the Centre, supporting farmers in the ongoing agitation against farm laws.
“ED has become a tool to suppress voices. We may have different ideologies but we should take a stand against it (ED raids) and pass a resolution,” Dhindsa said.
Congress MLA and minister Charanjit Singh Channi also castigated the ED raids. “Centre’s act is condemnable. These are pressure tactics to muzzle voices which support farmers. This is a matter of pride of Punjabis. There should be a resolution against this,” he said.
Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu said institutions like ED, CBI, Research and Analysis Wing and the judiciary had been reduced to “puppets” in the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
Questioning the timing of ED raids on MLA Khaira’s premises, MLA Kanwar Sandhu, who is under suspension by AAP, said, “The ED raids are interference in House functioning.” Sandhu sought to know if ED kept the state government in the loop before conducting the raids.
Sandhu said since Khaira seemed “inconvenient” to the Centre as he had been raising his voice against “farm excesses”, he was “penalised” by the way of ED raids. He said a resolution should be brought in the Vidhan Sabha condemning the ED raids and which should also note that ED should not conduct any raids in the state without the state government’s permission.
SAD legislature party chief Sharanjit Singh Dhillon too condemned the ED raids, calling these “illegal”. Dhillon said “action should be taken” by the state government on the issue.
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