Ruckus in Punjab Assembly over Rs55-cr scholarship scam - ECAS Punjab

Ruckus in Punjab Assembly over Rs55-cr scholarship scam

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Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 28

With 55 MLAs in the 117-member House not being allowed to attend the session due to precautionary measures in view of Covid-19, a truncated session of the state Assembly saw ruckus in the House with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLAs taking on Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot for his alleged complicity in protecting those involved in the Rs 55.71 crore SC post-matric scholarship scam.

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SAD: One-hour session black day for democracy

  • The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) termed the one-hour Vidhan Sabha session a black day for democracy even as it attacked CM Capt Amarinder Singh for running away from burning issues.
  • Senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said they followed the directions of the Speaker, who had asked those coming in contact with infected MLAs not to attend the Assembly.
  • But Capt Amarinder lied in the Vidhan Sabha, saying the SAD was absent from the session."He concealed the fact that it was on record that the Opposition legislators had been asked not to come."

In the line of fire from the Opposition benches, the minister did not find any support from the treasury benches. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was also present in the House as charges flew thick and fast against his minister. The minister's counter verbal attack was, however, lost in the din of slogans raised by AAP MLAs.

Flashing the recently submitted government report on the scam in the disbursal of the scholarship funds, LIP MLA Simarjit Bains praised the bureaucrat who exposed the minister and his deputy director Parminder Gill as he read out extracts of the report while seeking dismissal of the minister. Staging a dharna in the Well of the House, Bains demanded a CBI probe into the scam involving Central funds. He said if the government did not act, he would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

It was pointed out that Deputy Director Parminder Gill, who was suspended in connection with the scam, had been reinstated by the minister.

AAP MLAs Master Baldev Singh and Kultar Singh Sandhwan also demanded dismissal of the minister, adding that the "bungling in the scholarship scheme was a serious blot on the Congress government". AAP MLA Aman Arora raised the issue of illegal mining and liquor mafia. Meanwhile, due to the pandemic, there was no question hour, calling attention and zero hour.

Tributes paid to martyrs, warriors

  • The Assembly paid tributes to the soldiers killed in Ladakh's Galwan valley, Covid warriors and Olympian Balbir Singh Senior. The 12th session of the 15th Punjab Assembly began at 11 am with strict protocols in place due to the pandemic.
  • CM Capt Amarinder Singh led the Assembly in paying homage to 28 eminent personalities, including freedom fighters, who passed away since the last session of the House.
  • On the request of Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, the frontline warriors, who sacrificed their lives fighting the pandemic, were also added to the list.

from The Tribune

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