The opposition slammed the Punjab government for not tabling a Bill to counter the Centre’s new farm laws on the first day of the special assembly session, which saw a dharna in the House by 13 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs.
The AAP MLAs, who sat in the Well of the House till late on Monday evening after which they moved to the gallery outside the assembly, confined themselves within the assembly complex building, demanding copies of the Bill that the state’s Congress government will introduce on Tuesday morning.
According to sources, the Bill to counter the Centre’s farm laws will be the first to be taken up as the House meets at 10am. “Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is expected to table it as the House resumes for business,” a source said, requesting anonymity.
AAP ADAMANT ON COPIES OF BILLS
On Monday, finance and acting parliamentary affairs minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that the state government is consulting constitutional experts on the issue of legislation to counter the new farm laws and added copies of various Bills to be tabled during the session will be given to the opposition parties by the evening.
Even after the adjournment of the session for the day on Monday afternoon, AAP legislators continued their dharna, demanding copies of the Bill to counter the legislation enacted by the Centre.
Late at night, the Leader of Opposition and AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema said, “We will sit here through the night and continue the protest as we are yet get copies of this and other Bills to be tabled during the session.
“The AAP will support the legislation against the farm laws but the government should have given us its copies. We haven’t got copies of other Bills as well. How can our legislators discuss and debate important issues?” Cheema said.
HOUSE VACATED FOR SANITISATION
As the assembly area had to be sanitised and sealed overnight in view of the Covid-19 situation, the AAP MLAs, including the women legislators of the party, were asked to shift outside the House.
Earlier, the AAP members were persuaded by the Speaker, deputy speaker and Vidhan Sabha officials to end their protest, but they remained adamant on their demand.
WHEN CONGRESS MLAS SPENT NIGHT IN ASSEMBLY
Four years ago when Congress was in opposition in Punjab, their party MLAs had spent the night in the Punjab assembly seeking a debate on the no-confidence motion against the ruling SAD-BJP combine, which was defeated by voice vote, and had refused to vacate the House till the government gave an assurance that a discussion will be allowed on it.
MURDER OF DEMORACY, SAYS SAD
Meanwhile, in the assembly, the Shiromani Akali Dal said the Bill to counter the Centre’s farm laws should have been introduced on Monday itself
A delegation of the party met Speaker Rana KP Singh in the evening and objected to not getting copies of the Bills to be tabled in the assembly. The SAD leaders termed it a “murder of democracy”.