Chandigarh: Two AAP legislators, including a woman, on Thursday sustained injuries and taken to hospital when they along with other party members were being “physically” taken out by the marshals out of the Punjab Assembly, which witnessed ruckus over not allowing two suspended lawmakers from entering the House.
In the melee, turbans of some of the opposition members also came off. Speaker Rana K P Singh suspended members of both the AAP and the SAD-BJP for disrupting the House proceedings during the ongoing budget session here after both parties, in an unexpected move, joined hands to protest against him.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh condemned the opposition for their “atrocious” behaviour which smacked of hooliganism in the House, former CM Parkash Sigh Badal described the incident as “midsummer madness of the ruling Congress party and an outrage worse than the horrors of the Emergency days.”
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) termed it as the “murder of democracy”, accusing the government of getting the opposition members beaten up from marshals of the Vidhan Sabha and then getting them thrown out of the complex.
Described the government action as “unprecedented”, the AAP said Sarabjit Kaur Manuke, MLA from Jagraon and Manjit Singh Bilaspur, MLA from Nihal Singh Wala, sustained injuries after they were allegedly manhandled by the marshals. Both of them were taken to a government hospital in sector 16.
The opposition party also claimed that several AAP MLAs also sustained minor injuries and their clothes torn. As the question Hour began today, AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu told the Speaker that two suspended members AAP MLA Sukhpal Khaira and Lok Insaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains were denied permission from entering the Vidhan Sabha complex.
Khaira and Bains, who were suspended last week, were today stopped from entering Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Protesting AAP MLAs rushed into the Well of the House and raised anti-government slogans for disallowing the two members from entering the House.
When AAP MLAs tried to move towards the Chair by forcibly breaking the human chain formed by the watch and ward staff, the Speaker named all the protesting AAP MLAs, directing Marshals to remove them from the House.
When protesting members resisted, they were physically removed from the House with opposition members claiming one of their MLAs Pirmal Singh Khalsa’s turban was came off. Akali and BJP legislatoirs then came out in support of AAP for the manner in which AAP MLAs were taken out and they also staged a walk out.
However, BJP member Dinesh Singh Babu kept sitting in the House for his question during Question Hour. Later he walked out. After Akalis returned to their seats, SAD President Sukhbir Badal said members of the House had right to protest in the House.
This is not the way to remove members which led to turbans getting tossed off and even women members being mistread, said Sukhbir while accusing Speaker of being acting like a “dictator”.
Akali members stormed into the Well of the House and indulged in sloganeering against the Speaker. Some of Akali MLAs also tried to break the chain of watch and ward staff.
During the resumption of discussion on the budget estimates, Akali MLAs staged walk out, but soon after members of both AAP and SAD-BJP reentered the House and sat on their seats, catching Vidhan Sabha’s watch and ward staff offguard.
The Speaker then adjourned the House for 15 minutes. As the House was adjourned, Marshals again physically removed AAP MLAs after they put up resistance, due to which several benches fell.
Some Akali MLAs including Pawan Kumar Tinu could be seen stopping marshals from taking AAP MLAs from the House. Then Speaker ordered Marshals to remove AAP members from the Vidhan Sabha complex. When they were physically removing members, turbans of some of AAP MLAs including Manjit Singh Bilaspur came off in the melee.
Two AAP MLAs Sarabjit Kaur Manuke and Manjit Singh Bilaspur were put on the stretcher after they fainted, and were taken to government hospital here. Then the House was adjourned for half and hour.
After the House reassembled again, Akali leader and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia was seeing carrying a turban of an AAP MLA in the House to show the Speaker the alleged “brutality” of watch and ward staff in dealing with the opposition leaders.
The chief minister was disrupted by Akali MLAs from speaking in the House when he was about to start his address. Akali MLAs led by Sukhbir Badal and Bikram Majithia rushed to the Well of the House and also threw some papers towards the Chair, which fell short of the Speaker’s seat.
Speaker then named all the present SAD-BJP members for disrupting the proceedings of the House and directed Marshals to take them out of Vidhan Sabha premises. Later the House was adjourned again for 15 minutes.
Later a privilege motion and a resolution was moved by parliamentary affairs minister Brahm Mohindra to condemn the behaviour of AAP MLA Jai Kishan for allegedly punching a lady staff member of security when AAP-LIP legislators were being taken away out of the House.
Property of Vidhan Sabha was also damaged by AAP-LIP, Mohindra said in the motion. Mohindra moved a breach of privilege motion, condemning the unruly behaviour of SAD MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu and some other opposition legislators.
Mohindra condemned SAD legislators for using unparliamnetrty language against Speaker and a Minister, besides not maintaining the decorum of the House yesterday. The House then passed this privilege motion. Earlier, a resolution condemning the unruly behavior of SAD legislators was also brought by Mohindra which was later passed by the House.