Chandigarh, Aug 28 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislators on Friday urged Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore to direct the Congress-led dispensation to reconvene Vidhan Sabha next month to discuss the burning issues of the state.
The opposition party accused the state government of using the 'pretext' of COVID-19 to 'run away from facing the ire of the people'.
The one-day Monsoon Session of the Punjab Assembly was held on Friday, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to the governor, the legislative group, led by Sharanjit Singh Dhillon as well as other SAD legislators, said this intervention was necessary as there was a 'complete breakdown' in parliamentary procedures in the state and corrective steps needed to be taken to prevent the Congress government from making a 'mockery of democracy'.
The legislators also brought to the notice of the governor the alleged 'oppressive tactics' of the Vidhan Sabha Speaker and the Congress government, which asked the Chandigarh police to barricade residences of opposition legislators to prevent them from stepping out of their houses.
They said never before in the history of the state had the movement of elected representatives, who had already announced that they would act responsibly, been restricted in this manner.
They also urged the governor to order an inquiry into this 'forced house arrest' of SAD legislators.
All the SAD members skipped the one-day session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha here while SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said police was posted outside the residences of Akali legislator to thwart them from coming out to attend the session.
Majithia described the short sitting as a 'black day for democracy'.
He said it was shocking that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh even 'lied' in Vidhan Sabha that the SAD did not attend the session when it was his government which had kept the opposition out of the assembly.
'Today he indulged in blatant lying by concealing the fact that it was on record that the chief minister had asked opposition legislators who had come in contact with those testing COVID-19 positive not to come to Vidhan Sabha. The Speaker also issued a letter to the same effect which is also on record,' Majithia said.
He said while the SAD acted responsibly many others, including AAP and Congress legislators, did not with Cong MLA Nirmal Singh, who attended the session, testing positive later. PTI CHS VSD KJ