Ugly scenes were witnessed in Himachal Pradesh Assembly today as members of ruling BJP opposition Congress came to blows twice during the Question Hour,forcing Speaker Tulsi Ram to adjourn the House for the day.
As soon as the House assembled,the leader of the opposition Vidya Stokes was on her feet and wanted discussion on an adjournment motion given by Congress members and alleged the voice of opposition was being “throttled”.
She said her party wanted the corruption charges against Health Minister Rajeev Bindal discussed but the opportunity was not being given.
As Stokes was making her point,ruling party members tried to interrupt her and Congress members rushed into the well of the House.
The Congress members shouted slogans from the well and the ruling party members also raised counter-slogans. The members came to blows on two occasions as tempers ran high.
Pandemonium prevailed in the House as some other members separated the clashing members and the Speaker could not proceed with the Question Hour and adjourned the House for the day.
Congress members,continuing to raise slogans from the well,moved towards the treasury benches and Randhir Sharma (BJP) and Rakesh Kalia (Congress) traded blows and after sometime Balbir Chwdhary (BJP) and Mukesh Agnihotri (Congress) tried to hit each other.
Later,both ruling and Congers members blamed each other and Balbir Chowdhary claimed his two fingers were fractured when he was hit by Congress member Mukesh Agnihotri and also showed his bandaged hand to the reporters.
Vidya Stokes later lodged a complaint with the Speaker accused the ruling party members of manhandling and assaulting the Congress members.
She aid everything happened in the presence of the leader of the House and chief minister P.K.Dhumal but he did not instruct the ruling party members to desist from such acts.
She also urged the Speaker to restrain the ruling party members and take action against “unruly behaviour” of members from treasury benches.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ravinder Singh Ravi condemned the behaviour of opposition members and said “such ugly scenes” were unprecedented in Himachal assembly known for maintaining decorum and dignity of the House.
Ravi said the ruling party wanted to run the House in a cordial atmosphere and was ready for the Question Hour.
“But a Congress MLA started beating the desk of BJP member Roop Singh during protest,which was objectionable”,he said.