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AMIDST THE euphoria over the election of Rana Kanwarpal Singh as Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal struck a practical note with his appeal that classes should be held for legislators to educate them about running the House. Copiously quoting famous Urdu poet Allama Iqbal, while congratulating the Speaker after his election, Manpreet turned pragmatic when he said that the standard of debate had plunged to a considerable low in the Assembly. “The executive is answerable to the legislature, but now, the executive thinks it is not. We have to restore the majesty of legislature,” he remarked.
Manpreet said earlier, a superintendent used to hold classes of legislators, who were members of committees associated with the Assembly, “Assembly is not a political platform. Constitution has to be regarded. Committee system is just a way of marking attendance. We have many youths in the Assembly this time. It is the right time to groom them to handle governance,” he pointed out.
Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, known for his one-liners, also made his presence felt when he praised Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the Speaker in his own way. “Captain saab ne chuk ke mani sone vic jadd ditti jisde naal mani di chamak hazaar guna vadh jandi hai (Captain saab has studded the diamond in gold that it dazzles a thousand times more).” Taking a dig at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after criticising AAP for staging a walkout, Sidhu said people have already given their verdict against them. “Eh saal pehlan de raula paunde si ke saar a Punjab Kejriwal de naal, hun ki hoya Kejriwal tere naal (Earlier, for a year, they kept saying Punjab was with Kejriwal. What has happened now? People in Punjab say what happened to your Kejriwal)?”
As Manpreet and Sidhu tried to ‘outdo’ each other, leader of the House, Captain Amarinder Singh, praised the Speaker calling him an “ever smiling” and “cool-headed” man.
Also, Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, House SAD leader Ajit Singh Kohar and BJP leader in the Assembly, Som Parkash, congratulated the Speaker.