Chandigarh, Sep 9: Punjab Assembly Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal today admitted a no-confidence motion against the ruling SAD-BJP combine in the state, moved by opposition Congress, even as the House saw acrimonious scenes after a breach of privilege motion against Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was rejected by him.
After the Question Hour on the second day of the Monsoon Session, Leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Charanjit Singh Channi moved the no-confidence motion against the Punjab government.
It was moved on various grounds, including "failure of the state government in protecting the interests of the state on the SYL canal issue, deteriorating law and order situation, emergence of mafia groups, rampant corruption, deteriorating fiscal position of the state, failure in apprehending the culprits behind the Bargari sacrilege case".
The Speaker admitted the motion under Rule 58 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Punjab Assembly and told the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader that he would allot time for the same.
The motion was supported by Independent MLA brothers Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains. Later, former chief minister and senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal raised an objection to distribution of cheques to the tune of Rs 16 crore by the wife of state Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, despite Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's assurance that except MLAs and ministers, no one else could distribute cheques.
"It is a violation of constitutional provisions," Bhattal claimed and sought a reply from the Treasury benches claiming that she had proof of distribution of cheques in her Assembly constituency.
However, the Speaker said he could not force the Treasury benches to reply on the same. At this, opposition members stood up and vociferously demanded an answer from the Treasury benches. Bhattal said this could also be described as a "breach of privilege" as the Leader of the House had given an assurance to the members in this regard.
Then, Congress MLA Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi sought passage of a resolution for setting up of statues of martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh in the Assembly complex to apprise the youth of the history of the country's freedom struggle.
At this, the chief minister hit out at the previous Congress government in the state for "not even thinking of setting up memorials for martyrs and war heroes".