Everyone had anticipated that there would be acrimony and drama on the first day of Delhi Assembly’s Budget session, given the recent bad blood between the ruling party and the BJP. But the shouting and screaming in the House on Tuesday and the forced removal of an MLA gave the session an even stormier start.
The three-member BJP Opposition tried to take control of the proceedings right from the start, launching a loud attack on the AAP government for allegedly shielding former minister Jitender Singh Tomar.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was accused of supporting Tomar despite “knowing of his fake degree”.
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This set off a barrage of counter-allegations by Kejriwal, who targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not expelling his ministers whose names have surfaced in helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
The shouting match got worse when the BJP MLAs demanded a reply from the CM on why he “supported” Tomar.
After a15-minute adjournment, Kejriwal spoke.“I today challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the involvement of his cabinet minister and chief minister in the episode of helping Lalit Modi,” he said.
On Tomar’s alleged fake degrees, Kejriwal claimed that he had been kept in the dark by the former minister.
“I called for a written explanation from Tomar. The documents he submitted seemed fine prima facie. The way he was arrested is debatable, but as soon as he was arrested, we accepted his resignation from the cabinet,” he said.
“I want to request the PM to take the same action on his ministers. Was he also kept in the dark about his minister’s involvement with Lalit Modi. I request the PM to expel Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and order a fair investigation against them,” Kejriwal demanded.
Before this, BJP MLA from Vishwas Nagar, Om Prakash Sharma, asked the CM to tender his resignation for supporting Tomar. Speaker Ram Niwas Goel called for marshals to remove Sharma from the House when he tried to confront Kejriwal.
“The way Om Prakash left his seat and ran towards the chief minister is not acceptable. I gave him a chance to talk and even adjourned the House for 15 minutes. When the chief minister is answering, then why not listen to him? I can take strict action against him,” the Speaker said.
Sharma went kicking and screaming: “AAP CM is an anarchist. I am talking about Delhi’s issues in the House. There was no need to bring in the marshals.”
Leader of the Opposition, Vijender Gupta, registered his disagreement.
“I could have been more harsh towards Sharma for approaching the CM’s seat,” the Speaker warned.