Crash course for first-time legislators of Punjab
Of 85 first-time MLAs, 82 are from ruling AAP
A generational shift in Punjab’s polity was witnessed in the recently held Assembly elections, when 85 first-timers entered the Vidhan Sabha. But two sessions of the 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha later, the immediate need to train the first-time MLAs in the nuances of the House has been felt.
For this purpose, the Vidhan Sabha has tied up with Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), Lok Sabha Secretariat, to impart training to 73 per cent of the newly elected MLAs, from various parties.
The training will be imparted for two days by a team of experts from PRIDE, tentatively between May 31 and June 1, while a one-day training will be held by former MLAs and MPs for the first-timers.
Of the 85 first-time MLAs, 82 are from the ruling AAP, while one each is from the Congress, SAD and BJP.
Talking to The Tribune, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan said all-first-time MLAs would be asked to attend the training so that they could learn how to raise issues in the House; know the rules; raise questions and seek replies; learn how to maintain the dignity of the House, besides learning how to address the members by taking permission of the chair and participate in House debates.
“I would like the members to have this training before the Budget session. A team of seven to eight different subject experts from PRIDE will conduct the three-day training module,” he said.
Though Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his eight Cabinet colleagues (who are first-time MLAs), barring Finance Minister Harpal Cheema and Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, will also be asked to come for the training, sources say it will not be mandatory for them.
Parliamentary institute roped in
I want members to undergo training before the Budget session. A team of subject experts from parliamentary institute has been roped in. — Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Speaker, Vidhan Sabha