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Suspension of Cong MLAs rocks Haryana Assembly

Chandigarh: The Haryana Assembly saw unruly scenes today after the Opposition demanded revoking of the suspension of three Congress MLAs for “tearing” copies of the Governor’s address, while ruling BJP justified the action against the trio.

The trouble started even before the Question Hour began when some Congress legislators tried to raise the issue of suspension of its three MLAs, including a former Speaker.

The Congress MLAs also refused to mark their attendance.

Later, Speaker Kanwar Pal ruled that whatever the Congress MLAs had said in the House should not be taken on record as the opposition members had not marked their attendance before attending the proceedings, which was against the rules.

Soon, House Marshals were called and the Congress MLAs including Dalal, Geeta Bhukkal, Raghubir Singh Kadian and Anand Singh Dangi were asked to leave the House.

Health Minister Anil Vij criticised the protesting Congress MLAs.

“I want to ask them under which rule they tore the copies of the Governor’s Address and boycotted his speech,” he said.

He said the Chief Minister had already suggested that barring the three legislators, remaining Congress MLAs should come back and attend the proceedings.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, while referring to the demand raised by Congress MLAs, told the House that it was not the question of rules but whether the action can be justified.

“Be it the SYL issue or Jat reservation, Congress knows they cannot face the House on either and are avoiding coming to the Assembly which is unfortunate,” Khattar told reporters later.

Congress leader Dalal told reporters outside the Assembly that the three Congress MLAs–former Speaker Kuldeep Sharma, Jaiveer Singh and Jagbir Singh Malik, who have been suspended for six months, cannot be punished “twice”.

Barring Randeep Singh Surjewala who was not present, all the other Congress members were suspended from the Assembly on the opening day of the budget session on March 14 for interrupting the Governor’s address and staging a walkout when he was speaking.

Out of the 14, the three including the former Speaker, were suspended for six months after they tore the copies of Governor’s Address while staging a protest near the Well of the House.

“When 14 Congress MLAs had been named that included the three legislators as well, why should they be punished again? There is no provision of suspending a member for six months under Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Haryana Legislative Assembly,” Dalal said.

Besides, the three legislators have also been barred from taking up membership of any Assembly Committee for a period of one year.