Chandigarh: Members of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the principal opposition party Congress exchanged heated arguments over the issue of illegal mining on the day one of the two-day winter session of Punjab assembly which commenced here on Tuesday.
Senior Congress leader and leader of opposition (LoP) Partap Singh Bajwa, raised the issue of illegal mining during the Zero Hour after obituaries, and went on to allege that the same was rampant across the state, especially in the Ropar district area, and had AAP leaders' patronage.
Reacting sharply to Bajwa’s allegations, Cabinet minister Harjot Singh Bains, who represents a Ropar assembly constituency, trashed the allegations stating that illegal mining was rampant during the previous rules and not during the AAP government having their shelter. He also rebuked charges that he had not been meeting the leaders of various unions and issues pertaining to mining. Bains also dared the opposition leaders to furnish evidence regarding mining allegations as he was ready to face any investigation.
Bains said that if any person gave any evidence regarding him or his family's involvement in mining, then he was ready to face all kinds of investigation. He said that he was even ready to undergo a narco-test. He said that when he was the minister of mineral resources, Punjab had earned the highest revenue. He also accused Majithia for trying to fool people by holding a press conference with an advocate. Bains also agreed to the opposition's demand to constitute a committee of the vidhan sabha to probe into illegal mining.
Earlier, chief minister Bhagwant Mann while taking part in a debate on floor of the assembly, said that it is surprising to note that though Punjab led the country in contribution to the food pool besides giving maximum representation in the Indian Army but it was sad to note that the Centre has always ignored the state and that Punjab was not getting its legitimate share of RDF despite of fulfilling all the conditions.
He said that the Modi government was suffering from anti-Punjab syndrome due to which they were hell bent on ruining the state. He said that if the will of BJP led NDA government prevailed then they would omit the name of Punjab from the national anthem also.