SAD, AAP MLAs walk out of Punjab Assembly during Governor's address

Opposition SAD and AAP members on Thursday walked out from the Punjab Assembly during the Governor's Address to protest "non-fulfilment "of various promises made by the state Congress government.

During the 30-minute address of Governor V P Singh Badnore to the Assembly on the opening day of its two-day session, Shiromani Akali Dal members tried to disrupt his speech and raised slogans targeting the Congress government over alleged non-fulfilment of various promises made to the people.

Carrying rattles, SAD members led by Bikram Singh Majithia stood near the Well of the House and raised slogans and tried to repeatedly disrupt the speech even as the Governor continued with his address.

Main opposition Aam Aadmi Party MLAs led by Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema also raised slogans against the Amarinder Singh government targeting it on various issues.

Cheema along with most of his MLAs then walked out.

Later, SAD members also walked out from the House.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and other Congress MLAs were present in the House.

The Governor was highlighting various achievements and programmes of the State government when SAD members tried to disrupt his speech.

SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal was not present in the House while party's rebel MLA Parminder Dhindsa did not attend the proceedings.

Three rebel AAP MLAs did not take part in the protest.

Ahead of the session, Majithia and other SAD members protested outside the Assembly targeting the state government on “non-fulfilment” of promises made at the time of polls in 2017.

Talking to reporters later, Majithia said, "Farmers were promised by the Congress that their debt will be waived, Rs 10 lakh assistance will be given to peasant families, jobs would be given to each family, sixth pay commission promise was made to employees, regularisation of jobs of contractual employees, besides slew of other promises were made, which remain unfulfilled.''

On AAP staging a protest, Majithia said, “It is just an eyewash. AAP is baby Congress, it is their 'B' team. They are hand-in-glove."

Senior AAP leader Aman Arora told reporters that the Congress government had gone back on its various promises.

He said his party was also seeking scrapping of power purchase agreements signed by the previous SAD-BJP regime and had sought a discussion on it in the Assembly.

"Before the session, our party delegation had met Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP Singh and urged him to allow moving a private member bill 'The Punjab Termination of Power Purchase Agreements with 3 IPPs Act, 2020' in the Assembly session, but it was disallowed,” Arora said.

The Punjab Assembly special session began on Thursday to ratify the Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill 2019 extending reservation for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities in Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years.

Besides, other important legislative business would also be taken up during the session.

On the amended citizenship law, the Punjab government had recently said it will go by the will of the state assembly on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register. 

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