Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator from Dakha, HS Phoolka on Friday resigned from the membership of Punjab Assembly in protest against the state government’s alleged “failure” to initiate action against former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and retired DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in sacrilege incidents.
“I have sent my resignation as legislator of Punjab Vidhan Sabha to the Speaker through e-mail,” Phoolka said over phone. But there was no confirmation if the Speaker Rana KP Singh has accepted the resignation.
“More than 45 days have passed since ministers of the Congress government promised in the Vidhan Sabha action against Parkash Singh Badal and the then director general of police Sumedh Singh Saini but no action has come about so far.
“This is a betrayal for the people of Punjab,” Phoolka told reporters in New Delhi when he visited the Election Commission to submit his resignation.
If his resignation was to be accepted, AAP’s strength in the Assembly will drop to 19 legislators, eight of whom have formed a rebel group led by Sukhpal Singh Khaira. Despite this, AAP will continue to be the main Opposition party in the Assembly as the combined strength of Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party is 17.
Phoolka, who is fighting 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases in courts at New Delhi, had been asking the state government to initiate action against Badal and Saini in connection with police firing on people protesting at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan against sacrilege incidents.
On three occasions, he had said he would resign if action is not taken on the findings of Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh Commission.
According to the report of the Commission, that was set up to probe the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib, Badal and Saini were “aware” of the proposed police action to disperse the protesters at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura using force.
It held that the police opened fire in Behbal Kalan, where two people were killed, “without any warning and without taking permission from civil authorities”.
Phoolka had earlier resigned as the Leader of Opposition saying that he could not do justice with the post as he was fighting anti- Sikh riot cases.
In September, Phoolka had alleged that due procedure was not followed by the police before it opened fire on the protesters. He said his resignation would put pressure on the state government to act on findings of the Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh Commission.