Tense scenes in Punjab Assembly as CM Channi’s ‘drug mafia’ remark against SAD leader sets off ruckus

Earlier in the day, CM Channi attacked the SAD over their "double-faced" policies on Punjab.

The situation at the Punjab Assembly turned tense on Thursday as the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal MLAs almost came to blows after Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi made certain remarks about Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house.

The SAD leaders stormed the CM’s bench after Channi accused Majithia of “supporting drug mafia.”

Chaos erupted at the Vidhan Sabha as Congress MLA Kulbir Singh Zira and Majithia were seen being separated by other MLAs as they traded charges. Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu too had joined the fray, but later returned back to his bench.

Following the pandemonium, the Speaker summoned the Akali MLAs to his chamber.

Earlier in the day, CM Channi attacked the SAD over their “double-faced” policies on Punjab. He said Akali chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had appreciated the Union government when Article 370 — which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir — was abrogated.

During his speech on the occasion of the 16th session of the 15th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the Chief Minister came all guns blazing at the Akalis and said that they were the gateway through which the RSS, which has always been inimical to the interests of Punjab, managed to make inroads in 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 the SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal spoke in favour of the move and even went to the extent of not voting against the undemocratic move”, added Channi, holding the Akalis responsible for imposition of such decisions on Punjab.

The stormy assembly session began with the adoption of a resolution against the Centre’s notification that extended the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force, calling it an “insult” to the state police and seeking its withdrawal.

Last month, the Union government had amended the BSF Act to authorise the border guarding force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a 50 km stretch, up from the existing 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

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