Put off session, demands Opposition - ECAS Punjab

Put off session, demands Opposition

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Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 26

Ahead of the one-day Vidhan Sabha session scheduled for Friday, as many as 23 MLAs have been found to be Covid-positive. While three are AAP legislators, six belong to the SAD and 13 are from the Congress.

AAP MLA Manjit Singh Bilaspur and SAD MLA Gurpartap Singh Wadala, both of whom tested positive, had attended the meetings of their respective legislative parties. With this, the MLAs of the two Opposition parties who attended the meetings are unlikely to get permission for attending the session.

Officials in the Vidhan Sabha said they would strictly go by the guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry. The guidelines state that any person who comes in contact with an infected person will have to undergo self-quarantine for five days even if his report is negative. Speaker Rana KP Singh said: "We have to go by what the law says. As lawmakers, we are supposed to set an example for others."

The Opposition parties are livid at the likelihood of being asked to stay away. Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said the Congress could simply fulfil the constitutional requirement of having a session without conducting any official business, which could be done after five-day quarantine of their MLAs (who have tested negative, but were in touch with MLA Bilaspur) ended. "It is important that Punjab rejects the three farm ordinances and the Electricity Amendment Bill before the monsoon session of Parliament. This can be done when all parties have sufficient representation in the House," he said.

Aman Arora, AAP MLA from Sunam, said there were doubts regarding the test reports. "Manjit Singh Bilaspur was first told he had been tested negative, following which he attended the party meeting. Strangely, just after the meeting, he received a call where he was told that he had tested positive. Similarly, MLA Budh Ram tested negative here yesterday, but in a test conducted in Budhlada, his report came positive," Arora said.

SAD MLA Bikram Singh Majithia alleged that the government was running away from answering their questions by using these guidelines to keep the Opposition MLAs away from the session.

The session has been called as it is a constitutional requirement to call a session within six months of the previous one.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/32r7xOJ

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