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Punjab Assembly witnesses unruly scenes

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh speaks during the second day of the Special Vidhan Sabha Session, in Chandigarh on October 20, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The special session of the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday witnessed unruly scenes as MLAs of Opposition parties staged a protest against allegations of scams in the post-Matriculation SC (Scheduled Caste) scholarships, even as Bills were passed during the session.

Also read: AAP MLAs stage overnight sit-in against Cong. govt. inside Punjab Assembly complex

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu; Leader of Opposition Harpal Cheema of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP); and Simarjeet Singh Bains, MLA of the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), raised the issue of an alleged scam in the SC scholarships, demanding the dismissal of Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, who has already been given a clean chit by a committee of three IAS officers set up to probe the matter.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that no irregularity had been found by the inquiries into the issue.

Hitting out at the SAD, AAP and LIP, the Chief Minister said they were indulging in petty politics with their unfounded allegations. He was intervening during the House proceedings of the session. The issue of the SC scholarship had been examined by three Additional Chief Secretaries, who had found no irregularity in the distribution of funds, the Chief Minister said, adding that the Opposition was unnecessarily targeting Ministers on the basis of media reports which had no substance.

Also read: Punjab passes its own three agriculture Bills

Amid unruly scenes and slogan-shouting, during which the Akalis came to the well of the House to protest, Speaker Rana K.P. Singh told the AAP that they would not be allowed to speak unless they apologised for Mr. Cheema’s shouting at him (the Speaker, Mr. Singh).

After allegations of ₹64 crore misappropriation in the SC scholarships surfaced, the CM directed the Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to conduct a thorough enquiry. Ms. Mahajan’s report, based on the findings of the three-member panel of officers, led by Food Secretary K.A.P Sinha, exonerated Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

Also read: On day 1 of special session on farm bill, Punjab House sees protests

The Bills that were passed by the Assembly on Wednesday included the Punjab Bhondedar, Butemar, Dohlidar, Insar Miadi, Mukarraridar, Mundhimar, Panahi Qadeem, Saunjidar or Taraddadkar (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill, 2020; the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Bill, 2020; the Registration (Punjab Amendment) Bill 2020, the Punjab Tissue Culture Based Seed Potato Bill, 2020; the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Punjab (Welfare and Settlement of Landless, Marginal and Small Occupant Farmers Allotment of State Government Land Bill 2020; and the Factories (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 3:05:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/punjab-assembly-witnesses-unruly-scenes/article32909684.ece

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