Chandigarh, Sep 11: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today expressed surprise over Capt Amarinder Singh's continued arrogance, disregard and even disrespect towards the collective wisdom of the Vidhan Sabha.
"The House is repository of the collective wisdom and trust of the people of Punjab", Mr Badak while addressing mediapersons here.
Mr Badal pointed out that under the Constitution of India, there are "certain duties, responsibilities and privileges which every member of the House, including Capt Singh, are well aware of". But the former chief minister " seems to think that he is above the House and enjoys the royal privilege of criticising the House in the open even while being a member of it", he added.
The Chief Minister said that Capt Singh in fact seemed to treat himself above not just the legislature but all four pillars of democracy , that is the media, the judiciary, the legislature and the executive.
"Of the four pillars of democracy, Capt Singh has already castigated the legislature, he has no faith in the executive (unless he is the executive), he had in the past threatened to file cases against journalists and newspapers reporting his corruption to courts, as in the Ludhiana City Centre scam". In the aftermath of the House decision, Capt Singh was now expressing a lack of faith in the judiciary, he added.
A press release issued after the press conference also gave graphic details of the various stages of record tampering of the proceedings of the previous 12th Vidhan Sabha and the Amritsar Improvement Trust land scam case which led to the expulsion of Capt Singh from the current House for the rest of its term following his indictment in the scam.
Mr Badal appreciated that everyone, including the media and the Opposition, by and large, have maintained the dignity of the House and have refrained from casting aspersions on its functioning honestly. Congress leaders like Mrs Margeret Alva, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Bir Devinder Singh and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar have all refrained from commenting on the proceedings of the House and the report of the Committee of the House which probed the land scam, he added..
Capt Singh is alone, even in the Congress to continue to speak irresponsibly against the constitutionally august bodies and institutions, he said.
The Amritsar land scam case was taken up by the previous House itself on a complaint filed by then Congress MLA Bir Devinder Singh and the decision to set up a probe committee was also taken by the House during Capt Singh's regime when Dr Kewal Krishnan was the Speaker. The executive has nothing to do with it, he added.
All the witnesses who appeared before the House Committee that probe the scam were either Congressmen or bureaucrats who gave the same opinions during the tenure of Capt Singh. No SAD or BJP member or person has any role in this nor have any of them appeared as complainant or witness against Capt Singh, he added.
Mr Badal said that he was amazed at the utter silence of the entire Congress party in general and Capt Singh in particular over the issues involved in the report of the House Committee set up by the assembly with the unqualified consent of the Congress. "They should have stated in the House what they are saying outside it now", he added.
The Chief Minister claimed that at no stage did Capt Singh or any member of the Congress party question the constitutionality of the committee during its sittings. "Does the Committee become unconstitutional only after its judgment went against Amarinder?", he asked.
He expressed surprise at Capt Singh's and the Congress's decision to not avail of any opportunity to put up any defence on the floor of the House. While Capt Singh chose to remain away from the House for most of the time, the Congress seemed very reluctant to defend him, an understandable situation in view of the documentary evidence and testimonies before the House committee, he added.
"The House enjoys the privilege granted under the Constitution, the MLAs enjoy the privilege being members of the august House, but I think only and only Capt Singh seems to enjoying the privilege of criticizing the House," he added.