CHANDIGARH, May 10: Asserting that there was a total breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the state, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee today sought invoking of the Article 356 of the Indian Constitution to dismiss the Akali-BJP government in Punjab.
A delegation of the party led by PCC President Capt Amarinder Singh and comprising of Congress Legislative Party leader Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and other senior leaders and legislators submitted a memorandum to the Governor Mr Shiv Raj Patil demanding the dismissal of the government in accordance with the provisions of the Article 356 of the Indian Constitution.Later speaking to the reporters outside the Raj Bhawan, Capt Amarinder Singh justified his demand for the dismissal of the government. He pointed out, corruption was at its worst, so was law and order besides the state being at the brink of bankruptcy. “What else are you waiting for?” he asked while remarking “I don’t think there can be any other definition of the breakdown of the constitutional machinery be it law and order or financial emergency”.
He explained, a sitting Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) Sohan Singh Thandal was convicted for corruption, other CPS Raj Khurana was caught red handed with the bribe money, the names of four ministers Manoranjan Kalia, Swarna Ram, Gulzar Singh Ranike and Ajit Singh Kohar have figured in corruption cases, Banga MLA Mohan Lal has been booked for murder of his cousin, the nephew of another MLA Sarabjit Makkar from Adampur is involved in murder and his other brothers are involved in land grabbing. “This is unprecedented and quite unheard of”, he remarked.
He said, the SAD-BJP combine has become a breeding ground for corruption and this is a government of the Badals, by the Badals, for the Badals. “Tainted government officials are being allowed to man key posts without any fear”, he pointed out, while referring to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Punjab, Nirmal Singh Kahlon, who despite being indicted by the CBI in the recruitment scam and being reprimanded by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, is still being allowed to hold this key Constitutional post. “The Government for in-explainable reasons is not granting sanction to prosecute the said Speaker shows its malafide intentions and misconduct”, he said.
Similarly, he added, the Department of Vigilance has been handed over to an officer whose antecedents are only too well known in Punjab. “Saini’s record is far worse than that of a proclaimed criminal with charges of murder pending against him”, he pointed out, while adding, “despite this, the Government permits him to man the key post of Director of the said department”.
The PCC President maintained that the law and order is at its worst with the arms being supplied to the Maoists here as arms suppliers to Maoists have been arrested recently. There has been an increase of 65 per cent cases in the incidents of crime. Nobody is feeling safe in Punjab today. “When people, more so legislators can kill people and get away with it who can feel safe here?” he asked.
Referring to the financial situation of the state, he pointed out, the total debt had crossed Rs 1,60,000 crores and the government was continuously borrowing thus pushing the state towards bankruptcy and consequential financial emergency.
Besides, Capt Amarinder Singh and Ms Bhattal others in the delegation included Lal Singh, Tej Parkash Singh, Partap Singh Bajwa, Vijay Inder Singla, Brahm Mohindra, Rana Gurjit Singh, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Razia Sultana, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Randeep Singh Nabha, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Jagmohan Singh Kang, Om Prakash Soni, , Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Gurjit Singh (Laly) Jawanda, Arvind Khanna, Rana Kanwar Pal Singh, Harminder Singh Jassi, Avtar Singh Brar, Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Darshan Brar, Isher Singh Meharban, Makhan Singh, Karanpal Sekhon, and Major Amardeep.