Opposition unable to digest initiatives of AAP govt Punjab CM Mann

Chandigarh, Mar 4 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday said the opposition members were not able to "digest" the "path breaking" initiatives taken by his government for the holistic development of the state which was why they "ran away" from the governor's address.
     Winding up the discussion on the governor's address in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mann said the opposition leaders are least bothered about the state or its people and their only aim is to "grab" political power by hook or crook.
     He also listed out his government's achievements, including purchase of a private power plant, starting a road safety force to check road accidents and opening of schools of eminence.
     About presenting a lock to the Speaker before the start of the discussion on the governor's address, Mann said it was symbolic as the opposition leaders walk out after shouting in the House.
     He said he urged the Speaker to lock the gate of the House from inside so that the opposition could not go out.
     He said the opposition had fled from the House during the governor's address, adding that as the custodian of the House, the Speaker should ensure that the opposition does not run away.
     The opposition is "habitual" of running from the assembly on one pretext or another, which should not be allowed as it is a "mockery" of the august House, said Mann.
     The opposition on March 1 had run away from the governor's address just because they did not want to listen to the truth, he said.
     Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit's address to the state assembly on the opening day of the budget session on March 1 was disrupted by the opposition Congress MLAs, who raised the issues of protesting farmers and resorted to sloganeering.
     Amid the uproar, Purohit cut short his address. He read out a few lines and told the House that the rest of it be deemed as read.
     The opposition used to demand long sittings of the Vidhan Sabha session but now they are running away from attending it, alleged Mann.
     Having long sessions is of no use if the opposition has to jeopardise its sittings by staging walk outs, said the chief minister.
     Taking a jibe at Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mann said he was a "one-man show" who was not bothered about anyone.
     Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa hit back at Mann for his "unethical and unconstitutional" behaviour on the floor of the House during the second day of the budget session.
     In a statement, Bajwa accused Mann of creating unnecessary theatrics in the House instead of discussing real issues about the state.
     He made a mockery of the position of chief minister by asking the Punjab assembly Speaker to lock the House from inside, said Bajwa.
     "CM Mann must explain on what constitutional grounds he attempted to get the House locked. Was that the kind of behaviour a CM was supposed to act? He has apparently gone out of his senses. He has certainly crossed all the limits of absurdity," Bajwa added.
     Bajwa said that by acting in such a "silly manner" Mann had been running away from the real issues.
     Bajwa also accused Mann of insulting Dalit Congress MLA from Adampur Sukhwinder Kotli in the House.
     "The kind phrase CM Mann used to insult Dalit MLA Kotli is highly objectionable. It doesn't only exhibit his feudal mindset but it also shows that he has been intoxicated with power," Bajwa alleged.
     "Kotli was not asking for something personal when he was badly humiliated by Mann. He was just reminding him to fulfil his promise to make deputy chief minister from the Dalit community," alleged Bajwa, while asking Mann to apologise.
     Bajwa also said he was ready to contest the parliamentary polls from whichever seat Mann fights.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)