Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana Kanwar Pal Singh talks to Indian Express about the pandemonium in Assembly. Here are excerpts from the interview:
It was a mayhem in the second session of Vidhan Sabha. How do you feel about it?
Whatever happened is unfortunate. They have every right to protest. They can hold dharnas. Protests are a part of parliamentary democracy. But the way the AAP MLAs started throwing paper missiles and one of them even tried to approach me menacingly, I had to take that action. Nobody would say anything to a peaceful protest. But you cannot hurt anyone physically. The way they were protesting somebody could have been hurt. Also, a lady constable was misbehaved with.
The opposition is accusing you of being intolerant as compared to your predecessor.
I am not intolerant. I am not supposed to argue with them. I cannot engage with them.
Why was there no attempt to break the deadlock?
I made several appeals asking them to maintain decorum in the House. But when they misbehaved with the woman constable of Ward and Watch staff then the limit was crossed. I had to take the extreme action after that.
But tradition is that the Speaker would call those disrupting the House to his chamber and ask them to exercise restraint.
I cannot be a silent spectator to what is happening around me. I cannot tell you what happened with the woman constable. I do not have the words to describe. She was molested.
Who molested her?
AAP MLA from Garhshankar, Jaikishan Singh. She was not only pushed, but molested by him.
What was the provocation to not allow LIP and AAP MLAs in Vidhan Sabha precincts?
When MLAs are named and suspended the orders mean the they cannot enter the precincts. Moreover, they were only creating trouble here. When Mann had live-streamed Parliament on Facebook, he was also suspended from the House. Khaira also made a video of the House. They should know what they are doing.