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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

AAP MLAs spend night inside Punjab Assembly in protest over farm Bill

On the first day of the special assembly session convened to pass a Bill that would bypass the Centre's farm laws, the AAP MLAs sat on a dharna in the well of the House demanding copies of the Bills.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 20, 2020 11:08:04 am
AAP MLAs spend night inside Punjab Assembly in protest over farm BillAAP MLAs were seen sleeping inside the Punjab Vidhan Sabha complex on Monday night. (Source: ANI)

AAP MLAs spent the night inside the Punjab Vidhan Sabha complex in protest against the incumbent Congress government for not sharing copies of its Bill against agriculture laws as well as others introduced in the House. On the first day of the special assembly session convened to pass a Bill that would bypass the Centre’s farm laws, the AAP MLAs sat on a dharna in the well of the House demanding copies of the Bills.

The MLAs, however, moved from the well of the House to the Members’ Lounge after the Vidhan Sabha officials pointed out that the House has to be sanitised for anti-Covid measures else the session cannot be held on Tuesday.

AAP MLAs spend night inside Punjab Assembly in protest over farm Bill The MLAs moved from the well of the House to the Members’ Lounge after the Vidhan Sabha officials pointed out that the House has to be sanitised for anti-Covid measures else the session cannot be held on Tuesday. (Source: ANI)

Wearing black robes with slogans written on them, the MLAs did Facebook Live sessions while sitting in the House even as the Vidhan Sabha staff assured them that they would be given copies of the Bills by 5 pm, which did not happen. The AAP protest was reminiscent of the overnight Congress protest in the House in 2016 against the then SAD-BJP government.

In his Facebook Live from the well of the House, AAP MLA from Sunam, Aman Arora, said that Congress as well as SAD and BJP had a similar attitude towards the agriculture laws.

“Before the special session, the Congress government should have called a seminar where representatives of all political parties should have been invited along with representatives of farmers, legal and constitutional experts as well as agriculture experts to deliberate on the way forward. The farmers are the worst affected and it is logical that their voice should have been heard first,” said Arora.

The AAP MLAs said it was sad that the Congress government had not shared any draft of any legislation that they wanted to bring against the Centre’s laws with the opposition parties or the farmers. “It seems they are not bringing any legislation to save the farmers. It appears they are bringing some law to save the Congress party in 2022 elections as it is in doldrums right now,” Arora added.

AAP MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan said that it was quite strange that the Capt Amarinder government had called a session of the House on agriculture laws but was not informing MLAs on what needed to be done to counter them. “What is the Bill being brought? Media has been deliberately kept out of the House on pretext of Covid norms…,” he said.

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