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AAP legislator Phoolka to quit Punjab assembly

Phoolka is AAP legislator from the Dakha constituency in Ludhiana district and is a Delhi-based lawyer and activist.



H.S. Phoolka

Chandigarh, Oct 11 : Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and legislator H.S. Phoolka said on Thursday that he will resign from the Punjab assembly on Friday.

He had recently said that he would resign from the Assembly if the Congress government in Punjab did not act against those behind incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and police firing in October 2015 on those protesting such incidents.

The AAP leader also demanded the government register cases against former chief minister and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and former director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini.

The Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, set up by the Amarinder government last year, had in its report submitted recently, said the then government did not do enough to control the sacrilege incidents.

The report also held the then government accountable for the firing on sacrilege protesters by the Punjab Police which left two people dead and several injured in October 2015.

The AAP, which is the main opposition party in the Punjab assembly, had won 20 seats in the 117-member assembly in polls held in February last year.


Suspended 8 MPs Refuse To Leave, House Adjourned Till Tomorrow

The House witnessed five adjournments as some opposition members continued protests over the suspension of members.



8 suspended mps dharna

New Delhi, Sep 21 : Singing, sitting on grass, eight suspended Rajya Sabha members have been camping near the Gandhi statue in the high-security Parliament House, protesting their suspension after Sunday’s ruckus inside the Upper House.

The protesting Parliamentarians are Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen of the Trinamool Congress, Rajeev Satav, Ripun Bora, and Syed Naseer Hussain of the Congress, Sanjay Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party and KK Ragesh and E Kareem of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

All eight members are seated on the grass, refusing to leave. Most are still holding placards that read, “Death of democracy” and “Will fight for farmers”.

Sanjay Singh has been intermittently singing and clapping to keep the spirits of others upbeat, most of whom are visibly tired.

Asked when the protest will end, Singh said it depends on when their suspension is revoked.

Earlier on Monday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu suspended eight MPs, minutes after the House reconvened. These lawmakers from the AAP, TMC, the Congress and the CPI-M were accused of creating a ruckus in Parliament on Sunday.

A fan is also put near where they have been camping, considering the Delhi humidity. But nothing seems to have softened the stance of the MPs.

These opposition MPs on Sunday indulged in sloganeering after a resolution was moved by voice vote during the passage of the contentious farm bills. O’Brien was even seen tearing up documents, while Singh allegedly misbehaved with the marshals.

Earlier, Venkaiah Naidu called Sunday’s proceedings a “sad day for democracy” and “unfortunate” and “condemnable”, as he rejected a no-confidence motion against Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.

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Centre should assure farmers it will continue procuring paddy, wheat at minimum support price: Congress leader



Manish Tewari
Former Union Minister and Senior Congress Leader Manish Tewari (File Pic)

New Delhi: The Centre should assure farmers it will continue to procure paddy and wheat at minimum support price as the passage of two farm-related Bills has created apprehension among the farming community whether the FCI will purchase their crops, Congress MP Manish Tewari demanded.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, he also said the government should ensure the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of food grains, continue to give funds to state procurement agencies to carry out purchase operations smoothly.

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All-India protest against farm bills from September 24, says Congress

The agitation will continue till the government repeals the “anti-farmer, anti-poor and anti-people laws”, said senior Congress leader AK Antony.



Congress Leader Ahmed Patel

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday decided to launch a nationwide agitation from September 24 against the government for passing farm bills in Parliament.

The two agricultural reform bills — the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 — were cleared by voice vote in Parliament even as the Opposition protested and stormed the well of the House seeking that they be sent to a select committee.

The authorities called in marshals to form a double-layered barricade to protect Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh and remove an MP, muted live telecast of the proceedings, and refused to accept the Opposition’s demand for a division (voting through paper ballots) on the legislation.

The agitation will continue till the government repeals the “anti-farmer, anti-poor and anti-people laws”, said senior Congress leader AK Antony, addressing the reporters after a meeting of general secretaries and in-charge of states at the party headquarters in Delhi.

“From September 24 onwards, Congress will launch an all-India agitation asking the government to repeal the black laws,” said Antony.

Senior leader Ahmed Patel told reporters that the Congress will take this issue to the people of the country. “The meeting was held under the directions of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi,” he added.

The six-member special committee formed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to help her in organisational and operational matters chaired the meeting in her absence. Accompanied by her son and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi had last week left for the United States for a routine health check-up.

Giving details of the agitation, Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal said the party will have a series of nationwide programmes in support of the farmers.

Apart from a chain of press conferences across the country, Venugopal said state unit chiefs and legislature party leaders along with former ministers, MPs and MLAs will walk to the respective Raj Bhavans and submit a memorandum to Governors to be passed on to President Ram Nath Kovind.

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