CHANDIGARH: Twenty-two Congress MLAs wearing aprons that read Punjab da cancer-Badal sarkar — Punab’s cancer: Badal government — have been sitting on dharna inside the Punjab Assembly for over 24 hours.
They are demanding a fresh debate on their no-confidence motion against the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, which was defeated by a voice vote on Monday. The Congress MLAs spent Monday night inside the Assembly, sleeping on the floor and seats of the House, and plan to stay on till Wednesday when the Assembly reconvenes. The electricity was initially switched off by the Assembly staff, but later switched on. They even staged a mock session to lodge their protest.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited the Asssembly on Tuesday, despite it being a holiday for Eid, but failed to pacify the agitating Congress legislators, who insisted that they would not leave the Assembly till Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal agreed to a fresh debate.
Badal expressed his helplessness saying it was the Speaker’s prerogative to decide on this issue and urged them to meet the Speaker on Thursday. The Speaker is admitted to a hospital in Ludhiana and is not expected to come to the Assembly on Wednesday, the last day of the Assembly session.
Later, following the intervention of state Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh, four women MLAs (Karan Kaur Brar, Charanjeet Kaur Bajwa, Harchand Kaur and Aruna Chaudhary) were asked to go home. Another MLA, Ashwani Sekri, was hospitalised after his blood pressure and sugar levels shot up.