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Phoolka's resignation from state assembly a 'stunt': Pb ministers

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 11-08-2019 17:30 IST | Created: 11-08-2019 17:27 IST
Phoolka's resignation from state assembly a 'stunt': Pb ministers

Four Punjab ministers on Sunday dubbed the former AAP leader H S Phoolka's resignation from the state assembly a 'stunt" aimed at hogging the public limelight amidst his "dwindling political presence" in the state. Phoolka had on Saturday asked all MLAs who had raised the Bargari sacrilege issue in the assembly to resign, they said.

In a joint statement issued here on Sunday, Punjab Cabinet ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukbinder Singh Sarkaria and Gurpreet Singh Kangar lashed out at Phoolka for his "senseless and provocative demand for the resignation of the legislators". "Resigning from the assembly was just a stunt aimed at hogging the public limelight amidst his dwindling political presence," they said, adding that Phoolka was trying to divert people's attention from the progress made by the government in the sacrilege cases.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh had on Friday accepted the resignation of H S Phoolka, who had quit as the legislator last year. Phoolka had stepped down to press for immediate action against those involved in the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in the state in 2015.

While quitting as MLA, he claimed that the Congress government in the state had not taken the desired action against those named in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the sacrilege incidents. The four Punjab ministers said Phoolka wanted to gain political mileage from the sensitive issue. They said Phoolka did not want that people know the truth about the progress made by the government in bringing the culprits to book.

"Why else would he resign from the House and want other MLAs to do the same," they asked, adding that if the former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader really had interests of people in mind, he would have encouraged the legislators to question the state government and get the right answers. The ministers said in sharp contrast to the previous SAD-BJP regime, the Congress government had made a significant progress in ensuring a "free, fair and impartial investigation" into the sacrilege cases.

The Amarinder Singh-led Congress government had constituted the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission to investigate the sacrilege cases soon after coming to power. The report of the commission was presented before the assembly, which had, by consensus, sought a SIT to take the cases to their logical conclusion, they added.


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