Chandigarh: Main opposition Congress on Thursday forced adjournments of the Punjab Assembly over the issue of raising of memorial in memory of operation blue star at Amritsar and "honouring" of death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana.

Congress members created a ruckus in the House on the two issues first forcing Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal to adjourn the House for 45 minutes and later for the day at least 70 minutes ahead of the scheduled time.

The trouble began when leader of opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar stood up during the zero hour to draw the attention of the Assembly towards alleged deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

He said that it appears that Badal is obsessed with construction of memorials having religious overtones.     Without mentioning the raising of a memorial in memory of operation Bluestar by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) adjacent to the Golden temple complex in Amritsar, Jakhar said, "Badal is playing with fire and this is going to cost the hard earned peace of Punjab".

He sought a statement from the government on the issue of raising of the memorial.

Jakhar pulled up the government saying that the issue of memorial had been taken up by the present government to divert the attention of people from the pertinent issues like unemployment, poor fiscal position and intake of drugs by youths.

When Jakhar was unrelenting on the issue, certain members from the treasury benches, including minister Bikram Singh Majithia and SAD MLA Daljeet Singh Cheema tried to stop the leader of opposition, but Badal pacified his flock of MLAs and asked them to listen to Jakhar.

Badal told his MLAs, "Don't think we are weak...let Jakhar come out clearly with what he wants to tell the House".

"I want to know the stand of the government on raising of the memorial...why BJP the key ally of SAD is maintaining silence on the issue of Rajoana," Jakhar supported by his flock of MLAs said.

Badal stood up to assure the House that law and order will be maintained at all costs and the government will not compromise with the hard earned peace in Punjab.

"By all means till the last breath of my life...even I have to lay down my life peace of Punjab will never be compromised," Badal said.

He said that the memorial is being raised to condemn the operation Bluestar which as per Badal "is the most unfortunate incident not only for Sikhs but for the entire country."

"The memorial will be just like a Gurudwara where Granth Sahib will be placed and there will be no photographs of anyone in it," he said.

The Chief Minister said that since operation Blue star it was felt what should be done to condemn it. "The decision (to raise memorial) has been taken after a long debate with Sikh body SGPC.

Unsatisfied Badal's statement, the Congress members trooped into the well of the House, raised slogans and later squatted forcing the Speaker to adjourn the Assembly for 45 minutes.

When the House re-assembled, Badal was absent and Jakhar again stood up to point that when the leader is not present who will reply to his demand.

Interrupting Jakhar, the Speaker told him that the Chief Minister had made a statement on the issue.

However, Jakhar said that Badal only spoke about raising of memorial, but he did not touched the issue of "honouring" of Rajoana. "Rajoana is being bestowed upon with the title of living martyr," he said.

"Is BJP ready to support Rajoana," Jakhar asked to which BJP legislative party leader Madan Mohan Mittal said that the BJP's stand on militants is very clear not to call any militant a martyr.

He alleged that it was the Congress which was behind the militancy. "Even their Prime Minister Narsimha Rao had once said that the Congress cannot face militants," he said.

Unhappy by Mittal's reply, Congress members again trooped in the well of the House created a ruckus forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house at least 70 minutes ahead of schedule.


Latest News from Punjab News desk