High drama and mayhem prevailed in the Punjab Assembly on Thursday as marshals evicted protesting AAP MLAs and in the process toppled turbans of at least four of them and injured some legislators, prompting sworn rivals AAP and the SAD-BJP to close ranks against the government.
At least two MLAs had to be taken to hospital after they fainted.
The trouble began when Speaker Rana K P Singh ordered the eviction of AAP MLAs who were protesting that AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and ally Lok Insaf Party MLA Simerjeet Singh Bains had not been allowed to enter the Assembly complex.
The duo had addressed a press conference in the Assembly premises on Wednesday accusing the Speaker’s family of indulging in illegal mining. After being evicted by marshals on Thursday, AAP MLAs trooped back into the House, aided by Akali MLAs who had staged a walkout a short while before.
Leading them back into the House was SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Even as marshals rushed to stop the AAP MLAs, they were brushed aside by the AAP and Akali legislators who were shouting slogans. The Speaker immediately adjourned the House.
The AAP MLAs refused to vacate the House when requested by a police officer. They were then forcibly taken out of the House. SAD MLAs, led by Pawan Kumar Tinnu, rushed to their aid and tried to stop the marshals. Sukhbir Badal too got up from his seat to intervene when two women MLAs of AAP seated next to him, Baljinder Kaur and Rupinder Kaur, were picked up by woman marshals. Sukhbir was seen thumping the desk which fell down.
A woman MLA of AAP, Sarabjit Kaur Manuke, was injured during the eviction as marshals bodily lifted them. Munuke fainted and was rushed to hospital. Another AAP MLA, Manjit Singh, was also rushed to hospital after he fainted in the melee and was lying on the floor for nearly 15 minutes.