New Delhi: AAP MP Bhagwant Mann today demanded suspension of Prime Minister from the House for “compromising” national security by “inviting ISI” to the Pathankot airbase and said the panel set to examine filming of Parliament complex by him should also summon Narendra Modi.
In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Mann said the Prime Minister was “100 times more guilty” than him for “inviting ISI” to probe the January 2 terror attack on the airbase that had left seven security personnel dead.
“In 2001, ISI had attacked the Parliament Complex. And in 2016, it launched an attack on the Pathankot airbase. The PM invited the same ISI and took them around the airbase. ISI made maps of the airbase and left,” Mann alleged.
“The way I have been suspended, even the Prime Minister, who is a member of the House, should be suspended for compromising the national security,” Mann told reporters.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has set up a panel to examine if Mann’s video compromised Parliament’s security. The panel had yesterday given the Sangrur MP time till July 28 to respond even as it decided to seek the views of experts on the issue.
Mann has been asked not to attend the House until the Committee gives its report.
“Does this (inviting ISI to Pathankot) not threaten the security of our country? Is my video a threat to the security of the nation or PM inviting ISI and taking them around the airbase is a bigger threat?”
“The Committee should summon the PM along with me. If I am guilty, then the PM is 100 times more guilty,” Mann alleged.
A five-member Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan had visited Pathankot airbase in March to probe the attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group.
Alleging political vendetta, the AAP also claimed the Modi government is trying to arrest Mann in the case, “just like it has done with its other legislators”.
AAP leader Ashutosh said when the Speaker asked for an apology, Mann tendered it but she later said she will look into the matter.
“He gave an apology in writing. What happened after that and what kind of pressure was exerted that he is given a suspension notice saying now you don’t come to Parliament. This means something transpired in between.
“Speaker is revered in the country. Speaker should be neutral. If there is a perception that a Speaker is working under some pressure, then it is not right for the democratic process of the country,” Ashutosh said.
Strongly backing Mann over the incident, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the motive of the video was never meant to put security under threat. He also rubbished the charges of alcoholism against the MP.
“The Modi government has been targeting our elected representatives. If the video is a threat to the security, then even a mad man will not put it on Facebook. Don’t the Speaker, MPs have this basic understanding?” Singh said.
Mann said his case should be treated in an “impartial” manner.
Singh said the BJP, Congress and Akali Dal were coming together to “malign” the party’s image.
“The country is watching the way the BJP and the Modi government is behaving. If Bhagwant Mann has to be arrested, then tell him he will himself surrender rather than resorting to cowardice.
“The Modi government is trying to arrest Bhagwant Mann. The Congress, the Akali Dal and the BJP are running a campaign against the AAP,” Singh said.