Ludhiana, November 1, 2023: As per media reports the leaders of opposition parties in Punjab skipped an open debate “Main Punjab Boldaan” called by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday to discuss issues related to the state.
According to the news published in The Tribune, slamming the opposition over the SYL canal issue, Chief Minister Mann said previous governments in Punjab, whether that of the Congress or the SAD, have compromised the state’s interests in the matter.
Mann, who was alone on the dais with no opposition leaders in attendance, also produced some documents to substantiate his allegations. The ‘Main Punjab Bolda Haan’ debate was held at an auditorium of the Punjab Agricultural University.n
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) a day earlier had said, “It is not a debate. It is a PR exercise and PR stunt.”
On October 8, Mann had dared opposition leaders—Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar, Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal—for an open debate on issues concerning the state, including the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal matter.
Earlier, some members of various teachers’ organisations were not allowed to reach the debate’s venue, while members of the Krantikari Kisan Union were not allowed to enter.
The BJP said It wanted to participate in the debate but no proper procedure was followed.
State BJP general secretary Anil Sarin said it was a government sponsored and government controlled debate with hardly any scope for anyone else to speak and put forth their point of view. “It was all theirs with their anchor, agenda and audience,” he said, while claiming that it was a pointless exercise of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab.
The BJP slamming It as a government sponsored and controlled event.