Opposition corners govt over ‘mafia raj’ - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Opposition corners govt over ‘mafia raj’

Opposition corners govt over ‘mafia raj’

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6

If the sacrilege issue and closure report by the CBI held up the proceedings yesterday, the MLAs, of both ruling and Opposition parties, veered the political discourse towards transport mafia and land mafia.

Sacrilege issue and the closure report were relegated to the second position even as AAP MLA Aman Arora tried to take up the issue, and the Chief Minister pointed fingers at the Akali Dal of scuttling the investigation.

Amid walkout by the SAD-BJP earlier on the issue of sacrilege and later by AAP MLAs over the adjournment motion and calling attention motion on drug deaths not being allowed, the zero hour saw Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema lashing out at the Congress over the alleged land mafia operating in the state.

“Earlier, it was the SAD-BJP running the land mafia. Only the people at the top have changed. The mafia in Moga recently usurped land of a 110-year-old missionary school,” he alleged, even as SAD-BJP MLAs rose to protest.

Earlier, during the question hour, Congress MLA Kulbir Singh Zira put his government in an embarrassing situation, saying the transport department was still being controlled by the Badals.

Zira asked about government bus service in some villages of his constituency. Transport Minister Razia Sultana cited non-profitability of the route. Irked over this, Zira said department officials give inappropriate reports in connivance with private transporters.

He also asked why PRTC buses were not being allowed to enter Delhi, while private buses of Opposition leaders were having a free run. Lok Insaaf party MLA Simarjeet Bains also supported him. Sultana said the government could not stop private players from running buses, but she assured that equal time would be given to the PRTC as well.

AAP raised the issue of rampant drug menace and drug deaths in the state, alleging a nexus between Congress and Akali Dal for patronising those who smuggle and sell drugs.

The issue was also raised during the call attention motion moved by AAP MLAs Saravjit Kaur Manuke and Aman Arora.

The issue of favouritism was raised by Akali Dal MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu, who had moved a calling attention motion on trials not taking place for selecting sportspersons at State Sports College, Jalandhar.

Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi claimed that trials were delayed because of the poll code. Tinu tried to corner him, saying that sportsperson were not being cared for well and forced to shell out money to stay in rented accommodations. At this, Congress MLA and Olympian Pargat Singh intervened. But instead of siding with his own party, Pargat Singh charged at the minister saying the Sports Department had no resources at its disposal.

“Department kol tan nikkar kharidan joge paise vi nahin han (department does not even have money to buy shorts for players). You (referring to Sodhi) are my senior colleague and a senior player too. Please pay more attention to what is happening in the department,” he said, much to the dismay of others on the treasury benches.

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