Congress MLA Rana Kanwar Pal Singh was today elected unopposed as Speaker of the Punjab Assembly amid a walkout by the members of main opposition Aam Aadmi Party and its ally Lok Insaaf Party.
On the second day of 15th Punjab Vidhan Sabha here, Leader of the House and Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh proposed the name of Rana, Congress Congress MLA from Anandpur Sahib assembly constituency, for the post of Speaker and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra seconded it.
Amarinder said Rana is connected to people at grassroots level. “He always smiles…works with a calm mind. I have full faith that you will turnout to be a successful Speaker,” the Chief Minister said.
As the process to elect Speaker started, members of the AAP and the LIP intervened, demanding a debate on the governor’s address.
Leader of Opposition H S Phoolka said a discussion on governor’s address should be held “as per the Constitution”.
He was supported by LIP MLA Simrajeet Singh Bains.
Rana asked the AAP MLAs to go by the rules and give some time to the new government. Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said the Congress was not denying a debate on the governor’s address, but “let the government to start its work first”.
At this, the AAP and LIP members raised slogans and trooped out of the Assembly.
On being elected as Speaker, Rana, the 59-year-old, three-time legislator said, “As the House has reposed faith in me, I am committed to serving the House with dedication as per rules of the Assembly and seeking full cooperation of opposition benches.”
Noting that MLAs are criticised often for their un- parliamentary behaviour these days, Rana said “gentleness will make us ornamental to the legislature.”
He assured the members of upholding the sanctity and principles of the House and thanked Amarinder Singh, AICC chairperson (Sonia Gandhi) and party Vice President (Rahul Gandhi) for reposing faith in him.
“Amarinder is a charismatic leader for whom the party is not above the interest of the people of Punjab. It is a huge responsibility that has been given to me by the entire House,” he said.