DRAMATIC SCENES played out in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha Tuesday as Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala and Congress MLA Karan Dalal nearly exchanged blows after a heated argument. Both the legislators hurled abuses at each other and even took off their shoes threatening to hit each other.
Taking strong note of the unruly incident on the floor of the House, Haryana Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal placed Congress MLA Karan Dalal under suspension for one year. The Speaker took the decision after the House passed a resolution to suspend Dalal with voice-vote and opposition Indian National Lok Dal also supported it.
After Congress demanded similar action against Chautala too, the House condemned Abhay Chautala for his conduct in the House.
The Congress strongly objected to Speaker’s decision and threatened to challenge it in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Haryana’s former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda called it a “black day” and said that “it is an unprecedented decision”.
“There is no rule or regulation under which a member of the House can be suspended for such a long duration.
At most, a member can be suspended for remainder of the session, but not for one year,” Hooda said while talking to the media persons.
The incident took place when Karan Dalal used a derogatory word while speaking on his Calling Attention motion. Karan Dalal had raised the issue of deletion of 25 lakh ration card holders’ names under PDS. However, Karandev Kamboj,
Minister of State, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affair department clarified that the government had “temporarily deactivated 3,13,629 ration cards having 25,91,682 beneficiaries after complaints of ineligible beneficiaries were received by the government”.
But usage of a derogatory word by Karan Dalal left ministers and MLAs of the ruling party fuming. Agriculture Minister O P Dhankar demanded suspension of Dalal. BJP MLAs including Dhankar, Capt Abhimanyu, Krishan Kumar Bedi, Munish Kumar Grover and Anil Vij accused Dalal of using the derogatory word for “entire Haryana”.
“He has not abused and disregarded the 2.5 crore strong population of Haryana. We shall not tolerate such behaviour.
He has abused our motherland,” Dhankar said seeking Dalal’s suspension from the House.
Slamming the Congress legislator, Capt Abhimanyu also raked up the incident of of attack on Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar.
“This is not your party chief, who will sit silent after being attacked. This is BJP. We shall not tolerate such a disregard to the people of Haryana,” Capt Abhimanyu said.
Deputy Speaker Santosh Yadav sought Dalal’s explanation for using the derogatory word. However, Dalal asked Deputy Speaker to clarify whether the word used by him was parliamentary or unparliamentary.
As the House witnessed furore over Dalal’s refusal to take back his word, Deputy Speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes.
Speaker Kanwar Pal resumed the sitting and Capt Abhimanyu asked for Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala’s suggestion on the issue.
Abhay Chautala stood up and said that Karan Dalal was not entitled to any lenient view except his suspension and his party also supports it. This led to a heated exchange between Dalal and Abhay Chautala. Both then took off their shoes to hit each other as the other legislators intervened and restrained them. The House was again adjourned.
As the sitting resumed, Capt Abhimanyu moved the resolution seeking suspension of Dalal and it was passed. Citing various rules and regulations, Congress raised strong objections to their fellow legislator’s suspension.
Two former Speakers of the Vidhan Sabha, Kuldeep Sharma and Raghubir Kadian quoted rules and regulations, entered the Well and urged the Speaker to reconsider his ruling on Dalal.
Congress legislators Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kiran Choudhry too urged the Speaker to withdraw his decision.
“If Karan Dalal had used a word, he should have been given a chance to explain his side. Without hearing his explanation, a decision to suspend him is unconstitutional. Even if something, which he said, was interpreted as derogatory, I apologise on his behalf.
I apologise on my party’s behalf,” Hooda said while urging the Speaker to withdraw his decision.
However, the Speaker refused to change his decision and the House was adjourned again. When the sitting resumed, Speaker reiterated his decision and the Congress legislators walked out.
“Since, I am a CBI witness against criminal cases registered against Chautala family, they keep threatening me like this.
Chautala is mixed up with the BJP. I shall challenge this illegal and unconstitutional decision against me in the court of law.
Abhay Chautala hurled his shoe, for which he should have been suspended from the Session.
Rather, he should have supported me for raising the issue of poor people,” Dalal said while talking to mediapersons.