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Punjab: SAD seeks three-week Budget session, wants discussion on ‘burning issues’

Chandigarh |¬†Opposition party the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday urged the Punjab Assembly Speaker to extend the Budget session to 21 days so that state’s “burning issues” are discussed in the House.

A SAD delegation, including former ministers Bikram Singh Majithia, Daljit Singh Cheema and former chief parliamentary secretary N K Sharma, met Speaker Rana K P Singh and submitted a letter demanding the Budget session be extended to 21 days.

“The burning issues like unprecedented increase in farmer suicides, discrimination against Dalits, manhandling of teachers, among others, should be discussed,” the SAD said.

The Punjab Assembly session will begin with governor’s address on February 12, while the Budget estimates for 2019-20 would be presented before the House on February 18. The session will conclude on February 2.

The SAD urged the speaker to ensure that the Congress did not “ride roughshod” over the aspirations of the common man and ensure all public issues are allowed to be raised in the Budget session.

“Farm suicides have reached the 800 figure and that this issue should be discussed as the victim families were also not getting Rs 10 lakh compensation and a government job as promised to them,” Majithia later told the reporters.

He said farmers across the state were feeling “betrayed” as the government failed to implement the Rs 90,000 crore complete loan waiver.

“Misleading figures of crop loan waiver are being issued by the government. Had the farmers benefitted from this scheme the suicides would have stopped and not go up,” he said, adding, “even the poster boy of the Congress farm loan waiver scheme — Budh Singh — had also been betrayed by the government”.

The SAD delegation also demanded an urgent discussion on the “violence” unleashed on women teachers who were holding a peaceful protest at Patiala on Sunday.

Several teachers were injured on Sunday when police lathicharged a group of teachers who were marching towards Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s residence to protest against conditions set for their regularisation.

Majithia demanded registration of criminal cases against police officials, adding no elected government could behave in such a manner with teachers who had been entrusted with the responsibility of moulding future generations.

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