The BJP Monday demanded a narco test of Sangrur MP and Punjab president of the AAP, Bhagwant Mann, after a viral video clip alleged that Mann spoke in Parliament under the influence of liquor. In the clip, Mann is seen making a speech in the Lok Sabha last week.
Mann, while speaking on the Bill regarding regularisation of illegal colonies in New Delhi, points out that the Delhi Assembly too had passed a similar Bill, but that had not received the nod as yet.
He also takes pot shots at ruling party members for making adverse remarks against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and takes a dig at them saying that BJP has only three MLAs in the Delhi Assembly, while Congress has none.
In the clip, the treasury bench MPs are seen smiling as Mann goes on to say that he considers himself to be great satirist.
“Main apni izzat bahot karta hun. Main apne aap ko Mann sahib keh ke bulata hun. Charity begins at home. Agar main Mann sahib nahin kahunga to mujhe kaun kahega…(I respect myself a lot. I call myself Mann sahib. If I do not call myself Mann sahib, then no one else will),” he is heard saying amid audible sniggers from fellow MPs.
Reacting to the viral video, BJP National Secretary Tarun Chugh said that it was unfortunate the hallowed precincts of the Lok Sabha were being treated as a place for comedy by Mann.
“He is conveying a wrong impression about Punjabis not only in the country but also internationally that all they do is just laugh and joke about. A previous MP who used to sit next to him in the last Lok Sabha had also complained against him that he is under the influence of liquor and had requested that his seat be changed as he reeks of liquor. We demand that a narco test be done on him,” Chugh said.
Efforts were made to get Bhagwant Mann’s comments but he was not available.
However, defending Mann and dismissing the allegations, Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and senior AAP leader, Harpal Singh Cheema, said that the BJP’s demand was laughable and the party was irked because Mann had launched very sharp attacks on them in Parliament.
“They are unable to digest the pointed attacks made on them by Bhagwant Mann in Lok Sabha where he has thoroughly exposed him. He has a typical style of speaking and these people are unable to understand the satire that he uses to corner them. As far as conducting tests is concerned, let a test be done on all MPs under full media glare. Let them give the time and place for it so that the entire country knows who takes what substance before coming to Parliament,” said Cheema.
In January this year the national convenor of AAP and Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal, had announced at a public rally in Barnala that Mann had promised his mother that henceforth he would not be drinking alcohol. Terming it as a big “sacrifice” Kejriwal said that by making this pledge Mann had won his heart as well as the hearts of all Punjabis.
At the time, in the presence of his mother, Mann had admitted that he sometimes drank liquor, but added that he was maligned more by his detractors and said that with his public announcement now his opponents could not defame him.