73% Punjab MLAs Who Are Debutants to Be Taught Assembly Functioning

With almost 73 per cent of the new legislators in Punjab assembly being first-time entrants, the Vidhan Sabha has planned a special training exercise for them to ensure exposure to the nuances of the House’s functioning.

As many as 85 fresh candidates won the recently held assembly elections, with most of them belonging to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). After the brief two sittings of the recently held 16th assembly session, the need to train the first-time MLAs has been felt.

Official sources said that the Punjab Vidhan Sabha has now tied up with Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), Lok Sabha Secretariat, to impart the training.

The exercise will take place for two days with a team of experts from PRIDE, tentatively between May 31 and June 1. One-day training will also be held by former MLAs and MPs for the first-timers.

Of the 85 debutant legislators, 82 are from the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, while one each is from the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan has asked all first-time MLAs to attend the meeting. Officials said that the new legislators will be taught how to raise issues in the House, raise questions and seek replies, maintain the dignity of the House, address the members by taking permission of the chair, participate in House debates, as well as the rules of the Vidhan Sabha.

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 would not be mandatory for them.

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