Chandigarh – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative party wings today asked Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K P Singh to disqualify seven Congress legislators for accepting an office of profit besides disqualifying and debarring four MLAs who had resigned from AAP for violating The Representation of Peoples Act.
The delegation, which was led by SAD legislative party leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Bikram Singh Majithia on behalf of the SAD and Arun Narang on behalf of the BJP apprised the Speaker that a grave constitutional crisis had arisen in Punjab. They said seven Congress leaders – Raj Kumar Verka, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon and Tarsem Singh DC had invited disqualification upon themselves by accepting the post of Advisors in the rank of cabinet/minister of state. It said this appointment was in violation of the 91st amendment of the constitution which stated that the total number of ministers shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total strength of the House.
The SAD-BJP delegation also brought to the notice of the Speaker that the Congress government had burdened the State exchequer with expenses of crores to extend cabinet rank facilities to the new Advisors. The members said this was done at a time when 25 lakh students were not getting mid-day meal, SC scholarships were on hold, sugarcane dues were not paid to farmers, government employees were not getting Dearness Allowance and no money was released even for such a pious occasion like 550th Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji.
The delegation said with the appointment of the new Advisors the total number of political appointees in the government had risen to 27 with there being 13 Advisors, four political secretaries, nine OSDs and one chief principal secretary. “We feel that if the chief minister feels the need of appointing Advisors from legislators, he should reshuffle his cabinet by dropping non performers and inducting new members while keeping in view the 15 per cent ceiling limit”, the delegation added.
As far as the issue of four AAP legislators who had resigned from the primary membership of their parent party is concerned, the SAD-BJP legislators said the MLAs’ had violated The Representation of Peoples Act. They said as per the tenth schedule of the constitution “a member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he has voluntarily given up his membership of such a political party”.
The representation said all the four legislators had resigned as primary members of AAP. It said three mlas – Sukhpal Singh Khaira representing Bholath assembly segment, Nazar Singh Manshahia from Mansa and Master Baldev Singh from Jaito resigned from AAP eight months back in January 2019 while Amarjit Singh Sandoa had resigned in May 2019. They said there was no ambiguity about the resignations or the subsequent actions of the mlas. They said Khaira and Master Baldev Singh formed a new political party called Punjab Ekta Party while Manshaiya and Sandoa had joined the Congress party.
The representation said there should not be two set of rules while pointing out that the Karnataka and Haryana Speakers had taken action and disqualified legislators who had switched parties within a time bound period.
The delegation also asked the Speaker to launch disqualification proceedings against two AAP MLAs for going against their parent party.
The delegation members included Sharanjit Singh Dhillon,Pawan Kumar Tinu,Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal,Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra,Dr.Sukhwinder Sukhi,Kawanrjit Singh Rozy Barkandi, Dilraj Singh Bhundar,Baldev Khaira,