Ex-AAP legislator resignation 'drama': Punjab ministers

C0handigarh, Aug 11 : Questioning the former AAP leader's motives in instigating legislators to quit over the Bargari sacrilege issue, several Punjab ministers on Sunday ridiculed the resignation of H.S. Phoolka as a stunt aimed at hogging the limelight.

Phoolka on Saturday had asked all MLAs who had raised the Bargari issue in the Assembly to resign.

In a joint statement here, Punjab Cabinet ministers Tripat Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukbinder Singh Sarkaria and Gurpreet Singh Kangar lashed out at Phoolka for his 'senseless and provocative' demand for the resignation of the legislators.

These ministers said if Phoolka was genuinely concerned about the issue and its implications, he should have returned the Padma Shri awarded to him by the very government which had pressured the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into filing a closure report in the sensitive Bargari case which all Sikhs wanted to see ending in severe punishment for the perpetrators.

Resigning from the House and asking other MLAs to do the same was just an attempt by Phoolka to divert public attention away from the progress made by the Congress government in the state to take the Bargari and related cases to their logical conclusion, they said.

Further, the fact that Congress legislators were freely raising their concerns and asking questions from their own government showed the internal freedom allowed by the party and the respect accorded by the Amarinder Singh government to the institution of the Vidhan Sabha, said the ministers in their statement.

Phoolka obviously found it difficult to digest such transparency and openness in the Congress, they added.

Phoolka's stand was ludicrous in the extreme, and designed to undermine the democratic institution of the Vidhan Sabha, said the ministers.

The Assembly is a forum for open and frank discussions on all subjects by legislators irrespective of their political affiliation, they pointed out, adding that Phoolka's suggestion was detrimental to the very ethos of this body.

The Amarinder government, they recalled, had scrapped the Zora Commission and appointed the Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh Commission to investigate the sacrilege cases soon after taking over.

The fact-finding commission's report was presented before the Assembly, which had, by consensus, sought a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to take the cases to their logical conclusion, they added.

The ministers said the SIT, as part of its detailed and thorough investigations into the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing cases, had already arrested four police personnel in each of these.

Phoolka apparently did not want to acknowledge these facts or allow the people of Punjab to discover them, as it suited his political interests to mislead them on this important issue, said the ministers in the statement.

(IANS | 7 months ago)

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Ex-AAP legislator resignation 'drama': Punjab ministers