Chandigarh, February 28, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned finance minister Manpreet Badal and the Chandigarh police for resorting to ‘gundagardi’ to stifle the voice of farm suicide victim families who had come to the residence of the finance minister to appeal for inclusion of the promises made to them in the Congress party’s election manifesto in the State budget.
Addressing a press conference here, SAD legislative party wing leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Bikram Singh Majithia said rather than listen to the grievances of the suicide victim families, the finance minister ordered the Chandigarh police to remove them forcibly resulting in highhandedness against old men and women, children and even handicapped persons.
The SAD leaders said SAD-BJP legislative wing members, who had expressed support with the victim families, were also targeted in a planned manner and manhandled deliberately at the instance of the finance minister. Claiming that the finance minister had violated the privilege of the SAD-BJP legislators, the Akali leaders said the legislators were detained deliberately for the entire duration of the budget session as well as till such time the finance minister’s press conference was not over.
“This is for the first time in the history of Punjab that opposition legislators have been prevented from participating in the budget session in such a manner. This is indeed a black day in the history of the Vidhan Sabha”, they added.
Giving details, Mr Majithia said the farm suicide victim families had been approaching Congress and AAP legislators for the last one week. He said the victim families had also tried to reach out to the finance minister but to no avail. He said the families had approached the SAD-BJP legislative wing to help them in their cause and that its legislative wing members reached the spot after the families were already protesting there.
He said repeated messages were given to the finance minister to listen to the grievances of the victim families but instead of doing that he unleashed the Chandigarh Police as well as his own gun men on them as well as SAD-BJP legislators. He said it was unfortunate that the Chandigarh SSP had also played into the finance minister’s hands.
Mr Majithia said the finance minister enacted a drama of reaching late for the assembly as the Chandigarh Police had lifted victim families and legislators from the spot at 10.45 am. “He could have even walked to the Vidhan Sabha in fifteen minutes but he deliberately reached late as part of a well planned conspiracy to get a privilege motion initiated against SAD-BJP legislators.
We are not scared by such tactics and will continue to gherao the finance minister till the Congress government fulfills its promise to waive of all loans of suicide victim families besides disbursing Rs ten lakh compensation and a government job to one family member”.
Stating that nearly 3,000 farm suicide victim families were suffering due to the Congress government’s refusal to honour the promises made to them even in its fourth budget, Mr Majithia said it was very unfortunate that AAP had not only supported the privilege motion against SAD-BJP legislators also did not speak a single word against the budget in the Vidhan Sabha. “This proves that AAP has become an extension of the Congress party and should take on the nomenclature of Chhoti Congress”, he added.
Other legislators present at the press conference included NK Sharma, Manpreet Ayali, Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra, Pawan Kumar Tinu, Kanwarjit Barkandi besides senior leader Maheshinder Grewal. Earlier in the morning all SAD-BJP legislators expressed solidarity with farm suicide victim families in front of the residence of the finance minister.