Punjab House passes resolution against BSF’s extended jurisdiction

Cong., Akalis trade charges; AAP walks out

Terming Centre’s decision on extending jurisdiction of Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab as an expression of distrust and insult towards the State police, the Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution against the Centre’s notification and demanded its withdrawal.

The House also witnessed noisy scenes and multiple adjournments with members of the ruling Congress party and the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) embroiling in heated exchanges over the issues and the farm laws.

The House passed the resolution in absence of the two BJP MLAs, who left the Assembly before it was brought in.

The resolution, which was moved by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, said the decision of extending the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 kilometres to 50 kilometres by the Union government is an expression of distrust towards the State police and the People of Punjab.

Speaking in the House, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi accused the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of seeing everything through the narrow prism of politics, especially the issues of utmost importance to Punjab such as devolution of more powers to the States.

“Akali Dal were the gateway through which the RSS, which has always been inimical to the interests of Punjab, managed to make inroads into the State. When the RSS and its political wing the BJP undermined the federal structure of the country by revoking the Article 370 not only did the Akalis took sides with the BJP, but SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal spoke in favour of the move and even went to the extent of not voting against the undemocratic move,” said Mr. Channi.

CM accuses Majithia

The situation in the House turned tense when Chief Minister accused Akali Dal leader and former Minister Bikram Singh Majithia of supporting the illegal drug trade. Agitated over the remark, members of Akali Dal thronged towards the treasury benches. Congress members including Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mr. Majithia were seen in animated throw of words at each other. The Speaker then adjourned the House.

The Aam Aadmi Party members staged a walkout over the BSF issue, accusing the Chief Minister of selling Punjab’s interests by striking a deal with the Centre government. Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said that Mr. Channi should tell his compulsion of his kneeling before the Centre government.

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