Fell into Sukhbir’s trap,says Cong

They cannot single out and suspend our MLAs,let them suspend us all: Jakhar

Written by Sukhdeep Kaur | Chandigarh | Updated: April 17, 2014 10:42 am

They cannot single out and suspend our MLAs,let them suspend us all: Jakhar

A day after the free-for-all in the Punjab Assembly,the mood in the opposition Congress camp was of a good plot that was lost. Wiser from yesterday’s incidents when party MLAs “manhandled” policemen in plainclothes and went on a rampage inside the House flinging,the opposition Congress Thursday said it “fell into the trap laid by the ruling alliance”.

“Our MLAs showed exemplary restraint till 2.30am. But after the session was extended,Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal kept provoking MLAs by thumping his table and asking them to shout louder and do whatever they can. The MLAs should not have reached to that extent and what they did is nothing to be proud of. We fell into the trap laid by him (Sukhbir) of extending the session and mocking us. They were bent upon creating such a situation and they are responsible for what happened. By biggest regret is the entire issue of highlighting how the Tarn Taran police assault victim was being pressurised into a compromise and how their policemen raided our office was lost in the incidents that followed,” Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar said.

Earlier in the day after the ruling benches moved a resolution for suspension of nine Congress MLAs,Jakhar said all Congress MLAs boycotted the day’s proceedings as they cannot single out few legislators and suspend them. Later when Parliamentary Affairs minister Madan Mohan Mittal again moved another motion saying “a day’s suspension was too mild a punishment for the highly deplorable conduct of the Congress members” and Speaker ordered the suspension of all nine MLAs from the remainder of the budget session,Jakhar said they knew this was coming.

“Our stand remains the same. They cannot single out and suspend few MLAs. Let them suspend us all for the rest of the budget session,” he said.

On asked if that meant a washout of the session,he said the future course of action will be decided in a meeting of the party MLAs. He,however,contended that Speaker Charanjit Atwal knew who are the persons he brought into the Assembly and with what intent. “Later the Speaker painted it as a serious breach of security by unidentified people with unknown intentions,” he added

He,however,defended his stand to bring the victim and her father to the Assembly complex. “Is the House not the right forum to highlight issues of grave injustice. The girl was being put under immense pressure to strike a compromise by police officials of the rank of the Tarn Taran SSP. I wanted to unmask their claims on law and order,” Jakhar said.

The government faced some embarrassing moments Thursday as BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia told the Speaker that people usually accompany MLAs to the House without entry passes. Though Kalia soon corrected himself,Jakhar said Kalia’s statement proved that people entering into the Assembly with leaders to go to the party offices was a norm not an exception.

While a few MLAs caught on camera “manhandling” policemen and Assembly marshals and indulging in lawless protest were in denial mode,some said their tempers ran high as they were being mocked by Sukhbir. “What happened yesterday was unfortunate. Sukhbir started it all by mocking us. He again mocked me today saying I was looking good on the Speaker’s chair. I told him,a tree with fruits bends but it does not seem to be case with him,” MLA Jagmohan Kang,who sat on the Speaker’s chair yesterday said.

MLA Kuljit Nagra said they had only tried to overcome the fleeing policemen who had entered the CLP office. “We caught them as the government would have denied having sent police to raid our office,” he said.

What next is something that is Jakhar’s biggest worry. As the CLP leader,the plan of bringing the Tarn Taran girl into the Assembly seems to have backfired on the party,after he had himself said he would like the House to function without disruptions as it is the only time MLAs get to raise issuing concerning the state and their areas.

‘Govt stooping low by giving Dalit colour’

Claiming that by giving the colour of Dalit atrocity to Wednesday’s incident,Congress MLAs said the government was stooping low to justify its actions. “It is a ploy to divert attention from the main issue. First it was serious breach of security and now it is atrocity on Dalits. They will dig out something else tomorrow,” Leader of Opposition Jakhar said.

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