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Stormy debate on cards during upcoming Punjab Assembly session

twitter-logoPTI | July 24, 2019 | Updated 20:43 IST

Chandigarh, Jul 24 (PTI) The upcoming Punjab Assembly session is likely to witness stormy debates with opposition AAP and SAD asking the Speaker on Wednesday to allow discussions on issues such as farm suicides, power tariff hike, drugs, and water crisis when the House convenes. The monsoon session of the Punjab Assembly will be held from August 2 to 6, with two holidays in between. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), in a release, asked the Congress government not to "run away" from discussing the "burning issues" of the state. It asked Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh to hold a three-week session so that issues including "farm suicides, increase in power tariffs, discrimination against the poor by deletion of blue cards and denial of SC scholarship" could be discussed, the party said in a release. Former ministers Bikram Singh Majithia and Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the announcement of a brief session by the cabinet was akin to making a "mockery of democracy". "We will protest against this in the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee and demand that the session be extended for a three-week spell", the SAD leaders said. "It seems the government is afraid that it will be exposed and will be held accountable for cheating the people by making promises which it did not fulfil. The people want to know when the complete loan waiver scheme will be implemented. They are also keen to know the fate of the 'ghar ghar naukari' scheme as well as the Rs 2,500 per month unemployment allowance promised to the youth," they said in a statement. This has already resulted in suicides by youth including the recent suicide by a highly educated UGC NET scholar, the leaders claimed. Stating that farm suicides had crossed the 1200-mark, the Akali leaders said suicide victims were also not getting the promised Rs 10 lakh compensation and government job promised to them. Majithia said the common man had been burdened with an "unbearable 25 per cent hike" in power tariff in the last more than two years of the Congress rule. He said the party also wanted to discuss the "mismanagement and failure" of take advance steps to prevent breaches in the Ghaggar river which had caused widespread damage to standing crop and property. Dhindsa said the party also wanted to raise issue of discrimination against the poorer sections with blue cards being deleted at the "whims and fancies of Congress leaders to deny 'aata –daal' facility to the poor". An Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) delegation led by Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema on Wednesday met the Assembly speaker and submitted a memorandum seeking a two-day special assembly session each on all core issues concerning Punjab and its people. Water crisis in Punjab, a debate on polluted river waters, farm crisis, heavy debts and farmer suicides, drug menace, unemployment among youths are among other issues the AAP seeks to debate on. PTI VSD CK

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