New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly had a noisy start to the monsoon session today with the ruling AAP targeting the BJP over the Chandigarh stalking case while the opposition BJP raised the issue of death of sanitation workers in the national capital.
The ruckus affected the Assembly proceedings for an hour, and led to adjournments of the House twice.
As the House met today, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel mentioned the Chandigarh stalking case in which the Haryana BJP president’s son is allegedly involved.
Leader of the opposition Vijender Gupta objected to it and demanded a discussion on the death of sanitation workers in Delhi.
Three men had died allegedly after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning a sewer pipe in southeast Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar on Sunday, while last month, four sanitation workers died due to asphyxiation when they had entered a septic tank to clean it in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj.
Gupta was joined by his two party colleagues. Goel asked them to sit down and also accused Gupta of “disrespecting” the women of the country “by opposing condemnation” of the stalking incident.
As Gupta and the other BJP MLAs came in the Well of the House, the ruling AAP legislators followed suit shouting slogans.
They were wearing badges in support of the woman who resisted her alleged stalkers in Chandigarh. The 29-year-old woman was chased through the streets of Chandigarh on her way home late on Friday night, allegedly by the BJP leader’s son and one more person.
In the continuing din, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tried to reply to Gupta over the death of workers but he could not continue as the House was adjourned for 15 minutes.
When the House met again, Sisodia said there is a standing instruction that sewage should be cleaned mechanically, but the contractor allowed manual cleaning of the sewers.
“The government has announced Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of sanitation workers who had died while cleaning sewer. The investigation is going on in this case. If anyone is found guilty, strict action will be taken,” Sisodia said.
Meanwhile, Water Minister Rajender Pal Gautam told the House the government was framing new parameters so that there is no such incident in future.
“Under new parameters (to clean sewer), the responsibility of officers concerned, contractors will be fixed,” Gautam said.
Thereafter, AAP and BJP MLAs continued to shout slogans against each other over stalking case and death of sanitation workers respectively.
The House was adjourned again for half an hour as the legislators stayed in the well despite the Speaker asking them to go back to their seat.
Gupta and BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa were marshalled out of the House when they remained in the well despite the Speaker’s warning, demanding discussion on the death of four sanitation workers.
Later in a press note, Gupta said the issue of stalking in Chandigarh was “listed today in the revised List of Business at the end of the last item under the title short duration discussion.”
“But the Speaker suddenly reversed the order and introduced the last subject first in order to divert attention from the adjournment motion on sewer deaths to be introduced by the Leader of Opposition. This denies the rights not only Dalits but also the opposition,” he alleged.
Gupta, an MLA from Rohini, also alleged the way the AAP government treated the death of sewer workers in the Assembly today establishes beyond doubt that it is not only a “dalit- virodhi” but also “opposition-repressive” dispensation.
The BJP legislator alleged, “The AAP government wants to stifle the voice of opposition even if it is for the poor and the downtrodden.