Updated: September 4, 2021 5:57:58 am
A demand by the Shiromani Akali Dal that voting be held on a motion to adjourn the House sine die led to a ruckus for a brief period in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Friday as the ruling Congress closed ranks to take on the opposition party over the issue.
The demand, during the day-long special session convened to mark the 400th Parkash Purab celebrations of Guru Teg Bahadur, was raised by former minister and Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia who cited the infighting within the Congress. The request, however, was not entertained by the Speaker. The House was later adjourned sine die.
Soon after assembling, the House paid tributes to the ninth Guru after which Speaker Rana KP Singh adjourned the House for some time. When it reconvened, there were two items on agenda – presenting the first report of the Business Advisory Committee and a motion to adjourn the House sine die.
As Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Brahm Mohindra read out the motion, Majithia got up and demanded from the Speaker that voting should take place on this resolution so that the division within the Congress ranks could come to fore and it could be known who was supporting whom.
The House immediately erupted in a din and Congress MLAs stood up and challenged Majithia even as the Akali Dal members retaliated. There was considerable noise in the House with shouting going on even as the Speaker read out the order adjourning the House sine die.
Later, speaking to media persons outside the Assembly, Majithia said that he had only tried to find out which Congress leader enjoyed the support of the party MLAs. Majithia claimed that the Congress was divided into two groups and the four ministers had no faith in Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
“Akali Dal MLAs demanded in the House that there should be voting on the motion to adjourn sine die. Congress is divided into two factions and if the ministers who are against Capt Amarinder – Sukh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Charanjit Singh Channi and Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa – voted against or for the motion, people would have come to know the truth. It would have become clear how many MLAs stood with Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu and how many stood with Capt Amarinder. But the Congress ran away from the floor test. If you are so sure of being in majority, then you should have gotten the floor test done,” he said.
On a question on calling another session of the Vidhan Sabha, Majithia said, Congress did not want it. “(AICC in charge for Punjab) Harish Rawat has said ‘all is well’. However, all is in the well as far as Congress is concerned. I had hoped that Sidhu would bring a no confidence motion. I thought everyone would be unmasked. If you do not have confidence in your CM, then resign. You cannot make fool of people like this,” said Majithia.
In a statement later, Majithia said had Sidhu, ministers and legislators associated with him been serious about raising the issues of people, they would have opposed the motion which would have resulted in extension of the session.
He claimed the Congress party’s refusal to extend the session to discuss the burning issues of the state proved that neither Sidhu, nor Amarinder Singh were serious about Punjab or its problems.
“In fact, it seems they are playing a fixed match and running away from facing the people,” he alleged.
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