Congress MLAs on Tuesday disrupted proceedings of the Haryana Assembly after their protest march was stopped by security personnel at a distance from the main entrance to the Vidhan Sabha complex. Later, they accused Speaker Gian Chand Gupta of running the Assembly in a “dictatorial manner”.
Congress legislators took out a protest march in the morning against the BJP-JJP coalition government’s alleged failure to deliver on its poll promises. The march was stopped near the Haryana civil secretariat’s parking lot by security personnel who refused to allow Congress MLAs to move further with their placards and hoardings.
When former CM and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda questioned the security personnel, he was told that Speaker Gian Chand Gupta has ordered not to allow any protesting legislator to carry any hoarding, banner or placards inside.
After being detained for nearly 20 minutes, Congress MLAs were allowed to proceed and enter the Vidhan Sabha premises after Hooda assured the security personnel that no placards or hoardings will be taken inside.
The Question Hour had just begun when Congress legislators reached the Vidhan Sabha and interrupted the proceedings. The ruckus carried on for over 20 minutes during the Question Hour as Congress legislators led by the Hooda shouted slogans: “Taanashahi nahi chalegi”.
Hooda raised strong objections to being stopped near the parking lot, calling it “matter of privilege”, “illegal and undemocratic” on Speaker’s part.
“We had protested several times. Even during our government’s tenure, nobody was ever stopped there. We do not know on whose orders we were stopped. Did you issue any such directions,” Hooda questioned the Speaker. Replying to Hooda’s question, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said, “Yes, I issued directions that no poster, hoarding should not be allowed inside the Vidhan Sabha”.
The moment Speaker admitted that he had issued directions to the security personnel, Congress legislators stood up and lodged a strong protest, shouting slogans. “It is a matter of privilege. Nobody can stop us. Yes, we cannot bring such things inside the Vidhan Sabha and we never brought. But, we cannot be stopped like this. Everyday in Parliament, protests happen in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue. We were stopped outside the parking lot. This is just taanashahi”.
Congress legislators also cited Punjab’s example where opposition carrying placards and posters protest right at the main entrance of the Vidhan Sabha’s complex.
“Speaker sir, we will not tolerate such behaviour. We understand our rights and responsibilities,” Hooda said while asking Speaker to show map defining “boundary” of Vidhan Sabha as Speaker insisted that nobody can be allowed to carry placards, hoardings or posters inside Vidhan Sabha’s boundary.
When Congress legislators insisted that Speaker must show if there were any written orders issued by him, Gian Chand Gupta said, “It was a verbal instruction since you never intimated me in writing about carrying out any such protest.”
As the Congress legislators rushed to the Well of the House, BJP legislators shouted slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij intervened and reminded Congress MLAs of how during their rule, BJP legislators too were “often named and not allowed to enter Vidhan Sabha”.
Vij even went on to appreciate the Speaker for not allowing Congress legislators to enter Vidhan Sabha with any hoardings or placards. “Whatever happened with you today is extremely good. You should remember your time. Jaisi karni vaisi bharni. Speaker sir, I congratulate you to have taken this step today.”
As Congress MLAs continued protesting in the Well of the House, Speaker warned that he will not tolerate any “indiscipline”.
Congress legislator Geeta Bhukkal said, “It is utterly shameful on your part. You have failed to stop anti-social elements, you have failed to stop goons, the law and order is on its worst ever these days and you are stopping elected representatives. Shame on you”.
The ruckus continued for over 20 minutes and Congress MLAs returned to their seats only when Speaker Gian Chand Gupta assured Hooda that he will take care of their rights.
Earlier in the day, Congress MLAs had got out of their vehicles nearly one km from Vidhan Sabha’s complex and started a protest march carrying placards and posters. Marching towards the House, Hooda alleged, “There has been a multicrore paddy scam, mining scam and various other irregularities during this government’s tenure. But, the government refuses to order any probe. This government did not fulfill any of its promises that it made to the people of this state”.
Kiran Choudhry added, “It is due to sheer mismanagement of this government that they have pushed Haryana under a debt of Rs 1.98 lakh crore. There are several issues pertaining to farmers, law and order, unemployment but the government wishes not to discuss these issues neither inside nor outside the House”.
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