Brahmapura apologises in assembly for 'offending' Speaker

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Chandigarh, Mar 19 (UNI) Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Ranjit Singh Brahmapura today had to tender an apology in the state Assembly for 'showing disrespect' to the Chair.

The apology was tendered during question hour when the issue of distribution of development cheques by 'unauthorised agents' in the Dera Baba Nanak sub-division of Gurdaspur district was raised by Balbir Singh Baath (SAD). The sub-division forms part of the assembly constituency (Fathegarh Churian) of Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon.

Mr Baath wanted to know whether an inquiry had been ordered into the distribution of cheques by unauthorised persons and if so the outcome of the findings and the name and designation of the inquiry officer.

Mr Brahmapura in a written reply stated that ADC (development), Tarn Taran had conducted the inquiry and no irregularity was found in the distribution of cheques and their utilisation. The distribution was done by the Block Development and Panchayat Officer of Dera Baba Nanak.

At this Makhan Singh (Cong) raising a supplimentary questioned the credentials of the findings as the inquiry officer was a subordinate of the minister. He demanded that a House committee be formed to probe the case.

This upset Mr Brahmapura who was on his feet and said that too many supplimentaries were being directed at him by the Speaker during the session.

The remarks by the Minister brought the Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal on her feet and she waisted no time in pointing out that this mounted to showing disrespect to the Speaker.

Agreeing with Mrs Bhattal, the Speaker directed Mr Brahmpura to tender an apology immediately or else he would issue a note to him.

Taken aback, the Rural Development minister tendered an apology saying that he did not mean to offend the Speaker.

Later the Speaker said that the distribution of cheques by unauthorised persons in his constituency had come to his notice and he asked the Chief Minister to clarify on this matter.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal then assured the House that he would inquire into the matter. Avtar Brar (Cong) pointed out that the Opposition had raised this issue in the House earlier.

UNI HS MMS1758

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