The second day of the Punjab assembly session was off to a stormy start on Thursday afternoon with the leader of opposition and Congress MLA Partap Singh Bajwa demanding the dismissal and arrest of cabinet minister Fauja Singh Sarari over an alleged extortion audio clip.
Congress MLAs arrived at the House wearing aprons with photos of Sarari and demanded action against him after the audio clip in which he is purportedly heard devising an extortion plan with his aide surfaced recently.
The MLAs entered the well of House, raising slogans and demanding the minister’s dismissal.
Ruling Aam Aadmi Party legislators also raised slogans against the Congress, calling it “the B-team of the BJP”.
Both sides continue raising slogans, prompting Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan to adjourn the House for 30 minutes.
The ruckus continued even after the House reassembled and the Speaker asked the Congress members to let the House function.
Chief minister Bhagwant Mann had on Wednesday assured that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is scrutinising the audio clip.
State finance and taxation minister Harpal Singh Cheema also said that the audio clip of the purported conversation between Sarari and his former aide regarding a plan to trap some contractors to allegedly extort money from them is being examined to ascertain whether it has been tampered with or not. “After the completion of its examination, if anyone is found to be in the wrong, we will take action. The party’s policy is clear that whosoever is found indulging in corruption will not be spared,” he said in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Sarari has categorically denied the allegations and questioned the authenticity of audio clip, but the controversy has pushed the AAP and its government on the backfoot. The opposition Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP have demanded the dismissal of the minister from the cabinet.