A special Delhi Assembly session called to pass the controversial Janlokpal Bill was marred by unprecedented chaos on its opening day Thursday as Congress and BJP MLAs shouted slogans, broke mikes and tore papers as they disrupted proceedings demanding the resignation of Law Minister Somnath Bharti over his midnight raid on African women.
The trouble forced Speaker M S Dhir to adjourn the house four times before finally adjourning it for the day, leading Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to claim that the Congress, which supports his minority AAP government, and the BJP had come together to indulge in what he called “match-fixing” over the issue.
“It was match-fixing by BJP and Congress because of the government’s move on the gas pricing issue,” Kejriwal told reporters, referring to his government’s move this week to order FIRs against Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, former minister Murli Deora, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and former DG hydrocarbons V K Sibal.
BJP MLAs demanding Bharti’s resignation trooped into the well and shouted slogans as soon as the house began proceedings, leading to its adjournment. It was adjourned again two more times as both BJP and Congress MLAs disrupted proceedings.
Later in the day, Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely led his party MLAs to the well of the house demanding action against Bharti. BJP legislators displaying posters and demanding Bharti’s resignation joined them.
BJP MLAs broke the speaker’s mikes and threw papers while Congress MLA Mohammad Asif took some papers from the speaker’s table and tore them. He also broke a mike in front of Kejriwal’s chair. JD(U) MLA Shoaib Iqbal got hold of the speaker’s chair and jostled with it.
The BJP’s R P Singh put some bangles and lipsticks on the desk of Somnath Bharti.
Earlier in the day, the BJP legislators had objected to the speaker calling the session a “special session” in his introductory address. They demanded he call it the budget session.
The BJP also gave a calling attention notice against the law minister. The notice was read out by the speaker following which Bharti’s comments were sought.
The speaker told BJP members that his ruling would be given after getting Bharti’s response. However, all BJP MLAs began protesting against Bharti and trooped into the well of the house.