Punjab Congress MLAs hold mock assembly

Punjab Congress MLAs on Friday held a mock assembly within the premises of the Vidhan Sabha to protest against the non-revocation of suspension of nine party MLAs.

Chandigarh: Punjab Congress MLAs on Friday held a mock assembly within the premises of the Vidhan Sabha to protest against the non-revocation of suspension of nine party MLAs.
The decision to hold the mock assembly was taken during a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting after the party had walked out of the state Assembly in protest against the non-revocation of suspension of nine legislators.

The mock assembly saw several Congress MLAs chastising the SAD-BJP MLAs on various issues. They also passed resolutions to revoke suspension of nine Congress MLAs and breach of privilege motion against CLP leader Sunil Jakhar.

The nine MLAs were suspended by Punjab Assembly Speaker yesterday for the rest of Budget session for unparliamentary behaviour.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal also attended the mock assembly.

At the outset, the Speaker of mock assembly Congress MLA Jagmohan Singh Kang said, "We (Congress MLAs) were forced to hold mock session as the SAD-BJP was not allowing us to raise issues in the Vidhan Sabha."

"Congress MLAs never indulged in violence. We made every effort to run the House peacefully," he said in his speech while sitting on a chair mounted on wooden bench.

The mock session, which went on for over half-an-hour, had all the ingredients like point of order, question answers, bringing resolutions, as witnessed normally in Vidhan Sabha.

Speaking during this mock session, Congress MLA Raja Amarinder Singh Warring took potshot at SAD-BJP government, saying the state government wanted to suppress their voice and not allowing to raise genuine issues in the Assembly.

Congress MLA Charanjit Singh demanded an FIR against those watch and ward staff which raided the office of CLP on March 13.

Later talking media to Jakhar, he said that suspension of nine Congress MLAs should be revoked.
"The state government has no moral right to be in the saddle when it considered the police victim Tarn Taran girl as a security threat," he said.

Earlier in the Assembly during Zero Hour, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the state government never ordered "raid" on the office of Congress Legislature Party, which led to the ruckus by the Congress MLAs.

Badal said that the watch and ward staff taken on deputatiuon from the Punjab Police officers are under the direct control of Punjab Speaker even though the staff draws its salary from Punjab Police department.

"They (watch and ward staff) are on deputation and under direct control of Speaker. Punjab Police officials cannot enter on their own," he said.

Congress MLAs had manhandled the watch and ward staff in protest against the raid at the CLP office after Tarn Taran victim was brought in without any pass or authorisation.

Justifying the checking by watch and ward staff, Punjab Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said it was never a raid.

"Police staff is brought in at the instance of the Speaker for guarding the Vidhan Sabha," he said adding that it was totally illegal to bring any person without approval.

Stating that he was not justifying the ruckus created by the Congress MLAs on March 13, Jakhar, however, said he just wanted to raise the voice of the girl in the Assembly against the "atrocities committed by the Punjab Police".

"If you think there is a procedural lapse, then you can hang me...You can disqualify me," he said.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is also Leader of the House, termed the "unparliamentary behaviour and insult to the chair of the Speaker as rape and murder of the democracy".

Badal also demanded that the Congress MLAs should seek apologies from the House and then they come in and raise their issues.