Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday termed as regrettable the decision of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to walk out of the state assembly during the election of the Speaker.
Addressing the House after the walk-out by AAP, which was protesting against what it claimed to be denial of their democratic right to debate the Governor’s address, Captain Amarinder later said in a statement that it was an unfortunate incident. He said the main opposition party should uphold the dignity of the House instead of indulging in cheap dharna politics.
The AAP walk-out triggered a wave of reactions from the Congress benches, with several party leaders following the Chief Minister in castigating the main opposition party for its disruptive act. Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said the government had merely sought time for the debate and was not denying the opposition the right to discuss the Governor’s address. The government is yet to start functioning, he pointed out. "Let the time come and we would give them a suitable response on everything", he said adding that AAP had lost its plot in Punjab and had been thoroughly exposed.
The Congress leaders lashed out at AAP for lowering the dignity of the House and undermining the democratic polity of the state by indulging in dharna politics in its august precincts. AAP has a history of indulging in political stunts to remain in public limelight, they told media persons later.
Their rejection by the people of Punjab had left the AAP leaders totally frustrated and they were venting their ire by engaging in such ungainly tactics in a desperate attempt to damage the government’s efforts to provide good governance and initiate welfare measures for the people of the state, said the Congress leaders.
The government, led by the Chief Minister, made it clear that was completely open to a debate on the Governor’s address, scheduled for March 28, in the next session of the 15th Vidhan Sabha. The maiden session was necessarily a short one since the government needed to pass the Vote-on-Account on March 29, with just two days left of the financial year thereafter to implement several critical fiscal decisions.
Failure to execute the important financial decisions would bring all government work in the state to a standstill, said the ruling party, asserting that the governance of the state could not be put on hold to satiate the unreasonable desire of the AAP leaders and MLA's to find an excuse to raise a hullabaloo in the assembly and thus draw media and public attention to themselves.