Chandigarh: Opposition Congress continued to boycott the Punjab assembly for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday, holding a "mock session" outside the Assembly complex to protest suspension of nine of its members last week.

Treasury benches remained adamant that the Congress members should tender an apology for their conduct against the Chair last week, while the opposition criticized the ruling Akalis at a parallel mock session held in the parking lot outside the Assembly complex.

In the absence of the opposition, the Question Hour lasted for just ten minutes, after which the House took up the financial business amid boycott by Congress MLAs. At the mock session, Ashwani Sekhri of Congress said, "What Congress did is correct and under no circumstances we will tender an apology".

The mock Congress session passed a resolution demanding an apology from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for "throwing" the opposition members outside the House.

The party MLAs, referring to media reports, also demanded an apology from Badal for allegedly tossing the turban of the then speaker Surjeet Singh Minhas in 1986 during a ruckus inside the House.

Congress session's mock Speaker Jagmohan Singh Kang, who had occupied the Speaker's chair immediately after House adjournment on last Wednesday, constituted a three-member committee to probe Badal's role in 1986 and submit its report by Wednesday on what action could be taken against Badal.

Leader of Opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar ridiculed the Chief Minister's claim of taking up the turban issue with the French authorities who imposed a ban on wearing it in schools. "Will Badal apologize for what he did in 1986," Jakhar said during the mock session.

(Agencies)

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