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Akali MLAs evicted amid ruckus in Punjab House

The Punjab and Haryana Assembly.   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Unruly scenes were witnessed in the Punjab Assembly on Friday as MLAs of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) stormed the well of the House, raising slogans against the government amid Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s speech on the discussion on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address.

As SAD MLAs continued their slogan-shouting despite his repeated appeals, Speaker Rana K.P. Singh suspended all the SAD MLAs for the rest of the Budget session for disrupting the proceedings of the House. Adjourning the House for 15 minutes, the Speaker also asked the Marshals to remove the Akali Dal members from the House.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister, speaking on the farmers’ agitation during his speech, accused the SAD of taking a ‘U-turn’ on the farm laws, terming it ‘shameful’.

Pointing out that SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had initially accused his government of misleading the farmers, the Chief Minister said it was later that Mr. Sukhbir completely backtracked to oppose the legislations.

Calling the Akali leaders ‘double-faced’, the Chief Minister said, “They say something here, and something there.” They had even made a mockery of the august House of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha with their double-speak, Capt. Amrinder said. “They keep changing their stance and are now claiming to be pro-farmer.”

He also hit out at BJP leaders over their statements against the farmers and the ongoing farmers’ agitation. Terming Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s conduct “most regrettable”, Capt. Amarinder said the government of the neighbouring State had gone against the established norms of democratic functioning by using force against the agitators and also digging roads and putting barricades etc in their way.

He also lashed out at Mr. Khattar for his claim on his government having “inputs” on the presence of ‘Khalistani’ separatists in the ongoing farmers’ agitation, and remarks that “the Punjab Chief Minister is fanning this protest and office bearers of the Punjab Chief Minister’s office are leading the protest”.

“If the Haryana Chief Minister has any firm information on separatists, why does he not give such information to his party’s government in Delhi, instead of defaming the Punjabi farmers,” asked Capt. Amarinder.

A resolution was passed in the Assembly, seeking unconditional withdrawal of Centre’s farm laws. Introducing the resolution, the Chief Minister said these laws cannot be accepted and allowed to remain on the statute book to the detriment of the farmers, as not only were they against the principles of cooperative federalism but their objectives were apparently preposterous.

The resolution expressed the concerns of the members against the “inconsiderate and unresponsive attitude” of the Government of India, which has aggravated the situation and enhanced unrest and anguish amongst the farmers. It demanded the unconditional withdrawal of the farm laws in the interest of the farmers and the State, and to continue with the existing system of MSP-based government procurement of food grains.

While the SAD MLAs were suspended by the Speaker, the AAP members had staged a walk-out before the resolution was put to vote.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 11:53:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/akali-mlas-evicted-amid-ruckus-in-punjab-house/article33996911.ece

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