Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh Friday accepted the resignation of H S Phoolka, more than 10 months after the noted lawyer quit as legislator and five days after he threatened to move Supreme Court if his resignation was not accepted.
“Phoolka ji’s resignation has been accepted,” an official from the office of Speaker Rana KP Singh said Friday.
Phoolka had resigned in October 2018 in protest against the incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and the alleged inaction of the government in nabbing the culprits. Since his resignation was not in the required format, the Speaker had been asked him to re-submit it on two occasions. However, even after he submitted it in the required format, the Speaker kept it pending prompting Phoolka to write to him earlier this month that he will have to move the Supreme Court. “In the event you do not take any decision on my resignation, I will be constrained to approach the Supreme Court of India,” the lawyer, who had won as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Dakha constituency, had said.
Phoolka had also quit the AAP in January this year stating that he was no longer going to be active in politics and would devote his time to social service and in taking up the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases. With his resignation being accepted, the AAP now has 19 members in Vidhan Sabha. Resignations of three other party MLAs is under consideration of the Speaker.
Reacting to the development, Phoolka said, “On the issue of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, I am prepared to sacrifice any position”.
He said that in August 2018, a special session of Vidhan Sabha was held to discuss the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the sacrilege incidents. “In the report, a lot of evidence had come out about the involvement of Badals, especially the then chief minister Prakash Singh Badal. Vidhan Sabha debated the issue the whole day. The government made tall claims of initiating action, but at the end no resolution (of taking action against) the Badals was passed. On the same day, I had told the media that the government has lost an opportunity that will never come again,” he said.
Phoolka said that he had at the time declared that in protest he will resign from the Vidhan Sabha. “I had submitted my resignation on October 12, 2018 and my resignation was pending ever since. Thereafter, I even resigned from AAP,” he added.
The senior lawyer said no action has been taken against the culprits of sacrilege till now. “Now, my resignation will again bring the issue of action against the Badals to the centrestage. It will mobilise the public opinion. It will remind the people of findings of Justice Ranjit Singh Commission and evidence therein against Badals,” said Phoolka.
He ruled out contesting elections again or re-contesting from Dakha. “Politics is not everything. There are other things also, which need to be done to keep politicians in check,” he said.