Education Minister Bains, Cong MLA spar in Punjab Assembly over selection criteria for Singapore training

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 07-03-2023 21:02 IST | Created: 07-03-2023 21:02 IST
Education Minister Bains, Cong MLA spar in Punjab Assembly over selection criteria for Singapore training
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Punjab Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains and Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday had a heated exchange of words after Khaira raised a question over the selection criteria of the government school principals recently sent to Singapore for training.

The minister slammed Khaira while accusing him of spreading fake information about the school principal selection criteria in his tweet and also said a police complaint will be lodged against the Bholath legislator.

During the Zero Hour in the ongoing budget session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Congress' Khaira raised the issue of selection criteria of government school principals who were sent to Singapore for training. Khaira claimed that one of the conditions related to selection criteria was "relaxed" and it appears that there was "favouritism and nepotism" in the selection of government school principals.

Last month, the first batch of 36 school principals was sent to Singapore to participate in a professional teacher training seminar there.

Rubbishing the charge of favouritism, minister Bains said various conditions set for the selection criteria for school principals included minimum five years of service left.

Another condition was one should have completed five years in service, he said.

Bains, however, said the condition of completion of five years in service was relaxed to two years as his department wanted to send young principals abroad for training.

''We will send all principals (abroad) and then where is the element of favouritism," said Bains.

Referring to Khaira's earlier tweet on selection criteria, Bains accused the Congress legislator of spreading fake information.

Both the leaders got engaged in a verbal spat, prompting the Speaker asking them to address the chair.

Khaira challenged Bains if information on his tweet was wrong then he could file a police complaint against him and get an FIR registered.

Bains said, "if his tweet is found wrong, then we will file a complaint with the cyber cell (of police) and let the police take action." Later, during the discussion on the governor's address, a heated argument was also witnessed between Khaira and Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal.

Replying to the accusations of Khaira against noted environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal regarding illegal possession of land in Sultanpur Lodhi, Dhaliwal said Seechewal, the AAP MP, is running a 'gaushala' (cow shelter) over the 168 kanals land which belongs to the state government.

Seechewala had said he was ready to hand over the land to the government, said Dhaliwal.

While responding to the allegation of illegal possession of panchayat land by the Lovely Professional University (LPU) owned by AAP MP Ashok Mittal, Dhaliwal said the piece of land was exchanged with the Chaheru village panchayat in 2016.

The village panchayat got one acre over and above the land in lieu of the piece of land given to the university, he said.

Taking a swipe at the Bholath MLA, the minister reminded Khaira that over 10 acres of land was grabbed in his native village and asked him to get it freed from the illegal possession.

Amid uproar, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann arrived in the House. After seeing Mann, the Congress MLAs walked out of the House. However, Khaira remained in the House, asking the Speaker to give time to him to reply to Dhaliwal's remarks.

Khaira demanded that a committee of the Vidhan Sabha be formed to inquire into the matters related to land possession cases of Seechewal, the LPU and at his native village in Bholath constituency.

As he demanded time to speak at the governor's address, the Speaker told him that his Congress MLAs had already staged a walk out.

Khaira then rushed to the well and also walked out of the House. Later, the House passed the Punjab Appropriation Bill on supplementary grants.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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