Chandigarh, Aug 19 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday slammed the Opposition for the criticism of his government for holding a one-day assembly session, saying they are indulging in politics at a time when the state is facing the coronavirus crisis.
On Tuesday, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party had lashed out at the government for the truncated assembly session on August 28, claiming that it was “running away” from discussion on major issues.
Responding to the criticism, the CM in a statement accused the Opposition of indulging in “dirty politics” and lambasted SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal for his “pathetic” attendance record when he was an MLA.
He said Badal’s attendance record showed how “little importance” he gave to the House and its sessions. From March 2017 to May 2019, Sukhbir attended the House for only 16 of 40 days, he said.
Singh described the reaction of the SAD chief and AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema as “ludicrous” and “manifestation of the total lack of sensitivity and concern” on the part of the two Opposition parties.
Both parties seemed “bent on playing with sentiments of people', whose only concern at present is to protect themselves from coronavirus, the CM said.
He said the government called the session as it was a constitutional obligation.
Several ministers, MLAs and officials were currently either COVID positive or in quarantine, the CM said, adding either Sukhbir was ignorant of the ground situation or simply did not care.
With 34,400 people in the state testing positive so far, the situation is grim, he said.
The CM said if the SAD chief is concerned about people, he should help them during the pandemic instead of issuing provocative statements to promote his “vested petty political interests”.
Responding to the CM's attack, Sukhbir Badal in a statement described Amarinder Singh's reaction as “utterly amusing and absurd”.
SAD president said by admitting that even the one-day session was convened by the government only because it was a constitutional requirement, the CM has actually confirmed his allegation.
“That is precisely what I had said that if the CM had a choice, he would not have called the session even for a single day and that he had done so merely because it was constitutionally obligatory for him to do so,” he said. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK