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Resolution on officers' accountability leads to uproar

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Chandigarh, Feb 23 (UNI) Factionalism among the ruling Congress legislators today came to the fore in the Punjab Assembly, on the issue of a resolution for necessary steps to "ensure accountability" of the Executive towards the Legislative Some Congress MLAs, led by Ramesh Dutt Sharma and Bir Devinder Singh, joined the opposition Akali legislators on the floor of the House, raising voices that the resolution be passed either unanimously or through voting.

Though the MLAs cutting across the party lines pulled up the bureaucracy for ''lack of accountability, harassing the MLAs and for corruption'', Speaker Dr Kewal Krishan denied the demand of the dissident MLAs for the passage of the resolution.

Realising that the MLAs were constitutionally above the chief secretary of a state, the legislators-who condemned the bureaucrats, stressed that the resolution be passed and also demanded various amendments in the service rules of the IAS and PCS officers.

The MLAs who flayed the officialdom during the discussion on the resolution included Ramesh Dutt Sharma, Bir Devinder Singh, Joginder Singh Mann, Khushal Behl, all from the treasury benches, and opposition Akali MLAs Manpreet Singh Badal, Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Tota Singh and the BJP's Tikshan Sood.

The state government would issue strict instructions to the bureaucrats even at the district and tehsil levels to be more accountable, said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ch Jagjit Singh.

Leader of the House Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and the Leader of the Opposition Parkash Singh Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were absent from the House throughout the discussion on the resolution for three hours.

The Chief Minister was, however, present in the assembly during the question hour this morning.

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