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Verbal spat between BJP members in Punjab Assembly

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 19:06

Chandigarh: BJP, a ruling ally in Punjab,
on Wednesday had some embarrassing moments in the state Assembly with
a verbal spat breaking out between Health Minister Laxmi Kanta
Chawla and her party colleague Jagdish Raj Sawhney in the
House over an issue involving doctors.

During the Question Hour, Sawhney alleged that due to
"dictatorial attitude" of Chawla the doctors are resigning
from service in the state.

He also alleged that besides the doctors, several other
employees of the health department want to quit their jobs in
view of "indifferent and unadjusting approach" of the
minister.

However, the minister told the House that as many as 699
new doctors have been recruited by the state government in the
past four years and attributed the MLA`s charges to a recent
raid at an untrasound centre run by his relative.

"I will not permit female foeticide at any cost...the
health department officials had in the past raided a hospital
of a relative of the MLA and after finding certain
shortcomings, action was taken against the concerned persons,"
she said referring to the ultrasound centre of a relative of
Sawhney in Batala.

However, Sawhney said he himself has three daughters and
is against female foeticide. At this, the minister stood up to
say "probably at that time the ultra sound machines were not
available."

The heated exchange between Sawhney and Chawla came to
such a pass, that BJP Legislature Party leader and Industry
minister Manoranjan Kalia had to intervene and ask Speaker
Nirmal Singh Kahlon to direct both of them to restrict to
posing a query and giving a reply to it.

Though Chawla and Sawhney resumed their seats after being
directed by the Chair, the verbal duel continued between them
even as the Speaker moved on to take up another question on
agenda.

This was the second time during the ongoing session that
the two had a spat in the state Assembly.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 19:06
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