Punjab assembly session begins, Badals absent

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Chandigarh, March 24 (IANS) The first session of the newly-elected 15th Punjab Assembly began here on Friday, with swearing-in of the new members. Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and ex-Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal remained absent.

Protem Speaker Rana K.P. Singh said that 115 of the 117 legislators took oath on Friday.

Only Badal senior and Sukhbir Badal, who is also the Akali Dal president, did not attend the session and could not take the oath.

The Congress government, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, took office on March 16 after the Congress swept the February 4 assembly polls, winning 77 seats.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 20 seats, while its ally Lok Insaaf Party won two.

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The Badals’ Shiromani Akali Dal won 15 seats while ally Bharatiya Janata Party won three seats.

The Akali Dal-BJP alliance ruled Punjab for a decade from 2007.

The new Speaker and Deputy Speaker will be elected on Monday.

Governor V.P. Singh Badnore will address the assembly on March 28, followed by a debate on the address and Motion of Thanks, besides presentation of Supplementary Grants for the 2016-17 fiscal and a Vote on Account for fiscal 2017-18 on March 29.



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