Cong stages walkout from Punjab Assembly during CMs reply

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Chandigarh, Mar 11 (UNI) The Opposition Congress today staged a walkout from the Assembly protesting against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's criticism of the party's leadership and its failure in protecting the interests of Punjab.

The Chief Minister was midway through his reply on the Governor's address, when Darshan Singh Brar (Cong) interrupted the him and asked to mention the role of the Congress in the freedom struggle. He also objected to certain remarks made against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by a member of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance and requested Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon to expunge the remarks.

Despite the Speaker ordering the remarks to be expunged, Mr Brar was joined by his party colleagues in protesting against the criticism of the Congress in the Chief Minister's speech. A number of other Opposition members were on their feet and they joined Mr Brar in the protest.

The Congress members then walked out of the House shouting slogans against the government.

Mr Badal, in his reply, also mentioned of the Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal's absence from the House. ''It is perhaps for the first time in the history of this House that the Leader of the Opposition has been absent during the Chief Minister's reply on the Governor's address,'' he added, while mentioning of the absence of his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh (Cong) from the House.

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