Special Assembly Session: AAP delegation meets Speaker Rana KP Singh; submits memorandum on core issues of concern
Keeping Press Gallery out of bounds for media coverage an assault on freedom of press: Harpal Cheema
Chandigarh : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab, while welcoming the decision of the Amarinder Singh government for giving a final nod to the one-day special Vidhan Sabha session on Monday (October 19) against the contentious agriculture laws being imposed by the Modi-led government at the centre, adding that keeping in view the significance of the sensitive issue linked to the very existence of peasantry, the one-day session was too short a period for the purpose.It said that, being the principal opposition party, the Aam Aadmi Party had been crying hoarse from day one, reiterating its demand seeking extension in the proposed one-day special session to at least 7 days to discuss and debate threadbare the disastrous implications of the deadly laws and how to render them in fructuous.The controversial Central Agriculture laws, which had erupted in widespread protests across the country, especially in Punjab and Haryana, with a large number of farmers, farmer organisations and other sections of society, dependent on agriculture fighting the big battle on the roads.A delegation of the party led by its senior leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema on Sunday met Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP Singh and submitted a memorandum flagging certain core issues of concern. The delegation brought to the notice of the Speaker the undeclared censorship imposed on electronic and print media covering the special session, saying that citing Covid-19, the media had been virtually kept out of bounds from the assembly press gallery, which was an assault on the freedom of the press.
The delegation, through the memorandum, urged the Speaker to review the decision and allow media persons to cover the crucial session from the designated Vidhan Sabha Press Gallery, demanding live coverage of the entire proceedings of the session in an impartial and transparent manner.Harpal Singh Cheema alleged that barely a few hours were left for the special session to commence, neither the Punjab Government nor the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat had yet informed the principal opposition party (AAP) about the detailed agenda to be put across in the Vidhan Sabha, which, he said, smacked of double standards of the government in the saddle. Cheema demanded the details of the proposed agenda, to be brought in to nullify the draconian laws be made known to the Opposition.Cheema accused the Congress government in the saddle of playing a fixed match with the anti-farmer and anti-Punjab Modi government at the Center, to hide his government’s colossal failings and foibles. The LoP demanded strict action against the government officials/ ministers behind concealing the details of the agenda and not sharing it with the Opposition within the stipulated period before the commencement of the session under the rules.Others who were a part of the delegation included Principal Budhram, Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Prof. Baljinder Kaur, Sarbjit Kaur Manuke, Meet Hyer, Rupinder Kaur Ruby, Jai Singh Rouri, Manjit Singh Bilaspur , Kulwant Singh Pandori and Master Baldev Singh.