Heated exchanges were witnessed between the Opposition Congress and ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members on the opening day of the budget session of the Punjab Assembly on Friday.
This was after the Governor Banwarilal Purohit addressed Bhagwant Mann government as “my government” in his address. Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa objected to Purohit calling the AAP government as “my government”, saying that they address the governor as selected and themselves as elected representatives.
“They (the AAP MLAs) have not accepted you as one of them and have not responded to issues raised by you,” Bajwa said.
At this, minister Aman Arora said the Opposition is unnecessarily trying to disrupt the session. Purohit, however, said there should be no controversy as this is a very important session. The Governor said he would use the term ‘government’ and not ‘my government’ for the AAP government.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, however, said the governor should refer to the government as “my government”. Mann and Bajwa argued and reiterated their positions. Finally, Purohit said he would refer to it as “my government”.
When the Governor spoke about the 36 government school principals being sent to Singapore for a five-day leadership development programme, Bajwa was up on his feet again, reminding Purohit about his letter to Mann on the issue.
The Leader of Opposition asked the Governor if the government had provided the information he had sought. Purohit said he was confident they would. The Congress legislators however kept insisting for a reply and got ready to walk out. The Governor appealed to them to remain present in the House and hear his address, but they walked out.
In his address, the Governor said, “My government has launched an anti-corruption helpline. The Vigilance Bureau has registered 83 cases and finalised 15 vigilance inquiries.” He said 504 Aam Aadmi Clinics had been made operational in urban and rural areas.
The governor said, “My government has distributed 26,797 appointment letters during ‘Niyukti Patr Vand Smaroh’ in the past one year.” , “My government has launched the flagship programme ‘Schools of Excellence’. As many as 117 government senior secondary schools have been selected for transformation into ‘Schools of Excellence,” he added.
“True to its commitment, my government has granted 300 units of free electricity per month. For the first time, over 90 per cent domestic consumers received a zero bill,” the Governor said.
“My government is deeply concerned about the depleting groundwater. For its better management and conservation, an incentive of Rs 1,500 per acre is being given to the farmers for direct sowing of rice,” he added.