Protesting over newly enacted farm laws, the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs spent the night inside the Punjab assembly on Monday. The legislators were seen sleeping on sofas and mattresses as they staged a dharna for not tabling a Bill to counter the Centre’s new laws on the first day of a special assembly session.
Slamming the Punjab government, the opposition had earlier sat in the Well of the House till late evening after which they moved to the gallery outside the assembly, but confined themselves within the assembly complex building demanding copies of the Bill which the state’s Congress government is introducing on Tuesday.
Earlier, Finance and acting Parliamentary Affairs Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the state government is consulting constitutional experts on the issue of legislation to counter the new farm laws and added copies of various bills to be tabled during the two-day session will be given to the opposition parties by the evening. Even after the adjournment of the session for the day on Monday afternoon, AAP legislators continued their dharna, demanding copies of the Bill to counter the legislation enacted by the Centre.
Late in the night, Leader of Opposition and AAP leader Harpal Cheema said, We will sit here through the night and continue the protest as we are yet get copies of this and other Bills to be tabled during the session. AAP will support the legislation against the farm laws but the government should have given us its copies. We haven’t got copies of other bills as well. How can our legislators discuss and debate important issues? Cheema said.