Punjab: Congress stages walkout over Bhagwant Mann's 'unparliamentary remarks'

Punjab: Congress stages walkout over Bhagwant Mann's 'unparliamentary remarks'

This comes against the backdrop of the treasury benches led by Mann and opposition MLAs led by Bajwa sparring over corruption cases.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Thursday, March 09, 2023, 11:18 PM IST
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Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann | PTI

The Congress on Tuesday insisted on an apology from Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for his “unparliamentary remarks” and staged a walkout a day after the party got into a verbal duel with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over corruption cases.

Leader of opposition (LoP) Partap Singh Bajwa said, immediately after Question Hour, that Congress MLAs would would not participate in House proceedings if the chief minister is present in the Assembly.

Mann was not present in the House when Bajwa made this statement.This comes against the backdrop of the treasury benches led by Mann and opposition MLAs led by Bajwa sparring over corruption cases. Opposition members referred to AAP MP Raghav Chadha’s statement that the BJP flag should be raised at the offices of central investigation agencies. The MLAs said that AAP should raise its flag at the office of the Punjab vigilance bureau.

Irked over this, Mann had accused Bajwa of shielding corrupt people by criticising the vigilance bureau and went on to pointedly allege that most Congress leaders sitting on opposition benches were tainted. These leaders would also have to pay for their sins very soon as action against them was inevitable, Mann told Bajwa.

Bajwa and other Congress MLAs took on Mann, asking why the AAP government was not acting against its former minister Fauja Singh Sarari. Mann’s statement, they said, showed his bias against Congress MLAs even before any probe is initiated. The Congress members said they would hold a meeting with the Speaker on Tuesday against what they termed as “arrogance” of the chief minister.

On Tuesday, Bajwa reiterated in the House that as the chief minister has not expressed regret over the language he used on Monday, Congress legislators would attend the House proceedings only when he was not present and would stage a walkout when he arrives in the House.

The Congress members then walked out after the chief minister sarcastically asked them why they were still there despite saying that they would leave when he comes to the House.

Mann also asked Congress MLA Sukhpal Khaira, who did not walk out and even went to the well of the House to clarify some points with rural development minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal, why he had not left. At this, Khaira also walked out of the House.

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