Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the Congress government had played a cruel joke on the people of Punjab by appointing five legislators who had resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as members of various House Committees of the Vidhan Sabha.
Stating that all democratic norms had been given a go by with this decision, the SAD President said this also proved that the Congress government as well as the Vidhan Sabha Speaker to disqualify the mlas as per law. “We have been claiming that the legislators were used against the SAD by the Congress and functioned as a B team of the Congress party. Now this has been proved. Not only has Speaker Rana K P Singh not disqualified the mlas – H S Phoolka, Sukhpal Khaira and Master Baldev Singh who resigned in January and Nazar Singh Manshaiya and Amarjit Singh Sandoa who resigned in April and May respectively, but has appointed all five legislators to various House committees. This is against all rules of ethics and morality. The SAD will use all means at its disposal to oppose this undemocratic decision”.
Giving further details, the SAD President said while Sukhpal Khaira had been appointed member of the Committee on Papers to be laid on table of the House, Master Baldev Singh had been appointed as member of Committee on Government Assurances, Nazar Singh Manshahiya on the Library Committee, H S Phoolka on Committee on Subordinate Legislation and Amarjit Sandoa on Committee on Petitions.
Urging the Speaker to review his decision immediately, Mr Badal the mlas had violated the anti defection law by forming new parties, they had contested on new symbols and two of them had even joined the Congress party in the presence of chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. “They should be disqualified and debarred from contesting elections for six years”, he added.
Mr Badal said it was a recorded fact that the members have resigned from the primary membership of AAP. “The tenth schedule of the constitution is very clear. Any member resigning voluntarily as member of a political party is deemed disqualified. The Speaker should uphold the constitution. It is unfortunate that instead of doing this, long dates are being given to the members for personal hearings to enable them to continue as legislators”.
Stating that the Congress government as well as the Speaker should tell the tax payers why the five legislators were continuing as legislators even after their resignations, Mr Badal said tax payer money was being used to pay their salaries as well as those of their staff and security personnel besides maintaining official vehicles and residences being used by them. “The double standards of the mlas have also been exposed. While they talk of high ideals, they have no qualms in enjoying government facilities even after resigning as legislators”.
Mr Badal announced that the SAD would hold the Congress government accountable for this murder of democracy. “We demand that all five seats be declared vacant immediately and by elections be conducted in keeping with democratic principles”.