Opposition stages protest in Punjab Assembly seeking zero hour

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Opposition leaders protest in Punjab
Chandigarh, Mar 7: Opposition Congress today staged a walkout in the Punjab Assembly protesting against the speaker's denial to hold 'zero hour', leading to the adjournment of the House.

As the question hour ended, the Congress MLAs, including Balbeer Singh Sidhu, Charanjeet Singh Channi, Ajit Inder Sngh Mofar and Raja Amarinder Singh urged speaker to initiate 'zero hour', but the speaker denied it saying that it was "not a tradition" to do so on the day when budget or vote on account was to be presented in the assembly.

"I will not allow zero hour...its not the tradition," Speaker Charanjeet Singh Atwal said after the Congress members started to troop into the well of the house and stage a noisy demonstration following which the house was adjourned for 15 minutes.

"It is not the practice to hold zero hour on the day when budget or vote on account is presented in the assembly," the Speaker told the Congress legislators who again raked up the issue when the House re-assembled.

Congress leader Inder Singh Mofar said to the speaker that he being the custodian of the House, must allow the zero hour so that Congress MLAs could take up certain issues. As the speaker remained unmoved, the Congress MLAs again trooped into the well and staged a demonstration before finally staging a walkout to register their protest.

Opposition MLA Sidhu cast aspersions on the working of the speaker dubbing it as "partisan." Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar was, however, conspicuous by his absence from the assembly.

When the Congress members were staging demonstration in the well of the House one of the party MLA Navtej Singh Cheem went to minister Bikram Singh Majithia and sat with him on treasury bench and watched his partymen protesting.

PTI

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