After a relatively peaceful session Thursday, BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta triggered quite a commotion in the Delhi Assembly Friday when he climbed on top of his desk in protest, after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal referred to his wife’s alleged role in a scam during a back and forth between the two leaders on corruption charges.
During the special session of the assembly to discuss alleged irregularities in the three municipal corporations in the capital, Gupta demanded that the fact-finding committee’s report — on an alleged water tanker scam during former chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s tenure — be made public.
Gupta also sought a calling attention motion on the matter, but Speaker Ram Niwas Goel rejected the demand.
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Kejriwal then told Gupta, “I will give you a copy of the Delhi Jal Board’s fact-finding committee report tomorrow. You also give me facts about your wife’s role in the pension scam… We have the strongest resolve against corruption, so much so that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scared of it. So he sent paramilitary forces to the ACB (Anti-Corruption Branch) and took over the agency on June 8 last year. Everyone knows Congress and BJP have the relationship of a husband and wife.”
Enraged by the comment, Gupta climbed on top of his desk in protest and stayed there for at least 10 minutes, even as AAP legislators jeered at him and the Speaker repeatedly asked him to get down.
Goel told him, “This is unprecedented and the most shameful act by a legislator, who is no less the leader of the opposition, in democratic India’s history. You not only hijack assembly proceedings all the time but lower the dignity of the House by breaking microphones… hurling abuses at women MLAs.”
Kejriwal tweeted later in the day, “BJP has no respect for democratic institutions like Legislative Assembly. Look at BJP’s Leader of Oppn’s conduct. Shocking. Absolutely shockin.”
Later, the BJP leader told reporters, “The chief minister was speaking… and the 66 other MLAs were making so much noise that no one could hear what I had to say. To draw everyone’s attention, I had to get up on the chair. The AAP is muzzling the voice of the Opposition.”