Congress' Gurdaspur MLA Barindermeet Singh Pahra left his own party embarrassed in the assembly when he raised some questions as the Punjab Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill was placed in the assembly, giving the opposition benches an opportunity to take a dig at the Amarinder Singh-led regime.
When the bill was tabled, Pahra trained his guns on Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa asking as to who had ordered merging two notified panchayats in to one.
Pahra said that in his area, there were two notified panchayats -- Babehali and New Babehali. "But now there is only one Panchayat," he said, asking whether the minister or the director of the department concerned gave the orders ahead of the panchayat elections in the state on December 30.
He said around 200 people from his area had come along with him to protest against the move.
Sensing an opportunity, Opposition SAD MLA Bikram Singh Majithia took a swipe at the Amarinder Singh government, saying if the government was not hearing out his own MLA, how an Opposition legislator expects resolution of his issues pertaining to panchayats.
Several MLAs of opposition benches complained of irregularities in reservation and de-reservation of wards ahead of the panchayat polls.
"Why the notification relating to reservation or de-reservation being changed now? It is the minister who should answer," said AAP MLA and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema.
BJP MLA Som Prakash also hit out at the government for "wrong" reservation of wards at several places.
Replying to the charges of the party MLA, Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said a few people had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the notification pertaining to panchayat.
"Following the orders of the High Court, the director of the department took a decision which was as per law," Bajwa said, adding that he had nothing to do with it.
Taking on the opposition benches, Bajwa said the panchayat elections would be conducted by the State Election Commission under the commissioner appointed by the SAD-BJP regime.
The Punjab Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was later passed.
Meanwhile, three other bills -- the Punjab Regulation of Cattle Feed; Concentrates and Mineral Mixtures Bill, 2018; Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Amendment Bill, 2018; and Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018 --were also passed by the House.
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