Punjab Congress creates ruckus in Assembly



Chandigarh: Pandemonium prevailed in Punjab Assembly on Thursday with opposition Congress staging protests over alleged conversion of 120 year old Khalsa college building into a private university forcing the Speaker to twice adjourn the House.

During the Zero Hour, Sukhpal Singh Khaira of the Congress alleged that the state government is converting the heritage building of 120 year old Khalsa college in Amritsar into a private university to benefit the family of father in law of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

"The government is hell bent upon misusing the institution...it wants to deprive children of poor families of opportunity to get education at a cheaper price," he said.

Satyajeet Majithia, father-in-law of Sukhbir and father of MLA Bikramjeet Singh Majithia is chairman of the managing committee of the Khalsa college at Amritsar.

Chief whip of Congress Rana Gurmeet Sodhi too endorsed the views of Khaira.

Leader of opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal reiterated her party's demand to bring a white paper on state finances, seeking vote on account for three months pending passage of the budget and setting up a joint committee of the House to probe the transfer of government land to private entities.

"The government should make a reply on our demands put by Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ...otherwise we will not participate in the budget debate," she said spelling out her party's stand.

Ignoring the opposition members plea, Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon called for the next agenda listed for the day.

Agitated Congress members went into the well of the House and shouted slogans against the Badal government and also staged a protest forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 30 minutes.

When the House reassembled, Bhattal again raised the demands of her party asking the state government to take a call on them.

In a bid to set things right, Chief Minister and leader of the House Parkash Singh Badal intervened and said that "the budget presented by the Finance Minister itself is a white paper."

On Khalsa college, Badal said that the institution is being converted into a university."If there are any doubts these can be sorted out by sitting across the table," he told the Opposition and warned that people of Punjab will not spare Congress if it did not participate in the budget discussion.

The speaker again called next item on agenda forcing agitated Congress members to rush to the well of the House again and stage protests following which the Assembly was again adjourned for an hour.

When the House re-assembled, Congress members went to the well of the House again and shouted slogans against the government for about an hour forcing the speaker to adjourn the Assembly for the day.

PTI