Death or stalking: Delhi assembly debates what takes priority

Slogans were shouted from both sides: AAP members, wearing badges in support of Kundu, attacked BJP leaders, while the opposition kept raising slogans on the deaths of sanitation workers.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 9, 2017 2:47:49 am
Delhi assembly, asembly, day 1, AAP, BJP, marshalled, MLAs, Sirsa, Vijender Gupta, Indian Express, Kejriwal government, Delhi News BJP MLAs Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Vijender Gupta were marshalled out of the Assembly after they entered the Well. (File Photo)

On Tuesday, as the Monsoon session of the Assembly began, so did the familiar scenes of chaos as BJP MLAs were marshalled out for repeatedly demanding a discussion on the deaths of three sanitation workers in Lajpat Nagar. Questions were also raised about why the Chandigarh ‘stalking’ incident should be discussed in the Delhi Assembly. Within a few hours, the House was adjourned twice. BJP MLAs Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Vijender Gupta were marshalled out of the Assembly after they entered the Well, demanding a discussion on the deaths of the three workers.
The list of business in the House included a discussion on “safety and security of women and vulnerable sections of society in the capital in the light of harassment of Ms Varnika Kundu in centrally policed Chandigarh”. Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son Vikas and his friend are accused of stalking Kundu, the daughter of an IAS officer.

Slogans were shouted from both sides: AAP members, wearing badges in support of Kundu, attacked BJP leaders, while the opposition kept raising slogans on the deaths of sanitation workers. The din prompted Speaker Ram Niwas Goel to adjourn the House twice — first for 15 minutes and then 30 minutes. After the second adjournment, with BJP leaders once again in the Well, the Speaker repeatedly asked MLAs to return to their seats, but in vain. Eventually, the Speaker asked the marshals to escort Gupta out. Later, Sirsa too was removed by the marshals as he continued to protest. The other BJP MLA, Jagdish Pradhan, returned to his seat. The BJP’s fourth MLA was absent from the House.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had attempted to reply to Gupta’s allegations regarding the deaths of the workers, but couldn’t because the House had been adjourned. He announced the government’s compensation in the case, and later attacked the BJP regarding the Chandigarh stalking case. “This party is against basic tenets of democracy and is constantly trying to undermine democracy. This is a party whose tradition teaches them to molest women. In cases like these, when a woman is going out to work at midnight, instead of helping them, or at least respecting them for their courage, they raise questions about their character. This is the kind of party it is,” he said.

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