Day after Assembly chaos, 9 Cong MLAs suspended

CHANDIGARH (TIP): Nine Congress legislators were on March 14 suspended from the Punjab Assembly for the remainder of the budget session. The House had witnessed acrimonious scenes yesterday with Congress legislators taking over the Speaker’s chair after leading a protest against a “raid” on the office of Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar. The watch and ward staff led by police officers had entered the CLP leader’s office to check on the Tarn Taran police assault victim who had unauthorisedly been brought into the Assembly by Jakhar.

Those suspended include former minister Jagmohan Singh Kang, who took over the Speaker’s chair, Charanjit Singh Channi, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Hardyal Singh Kamboj, Rana Gurjit Singh, Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa, Parminder Singh Pinky, Balbir Singh Sidhu and Kuljit Singh Nagra.

Sources said Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal first suspended the nine legislators for a day. But the SADBJP alliance hardened its stance on the issue over two things – One Jakhar tried to move a privilege motion against yesterday’s alleged trespass by the police on his office when the House reassembled this morning and second there was lack of “remorse” on part of the CLP leader and the legislators responsible for the unruly scenes yesterday.

Senior leaders approached SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal saying the party must take harder stance against those responsible for the “lawlessness. Subsequently, the Treasury Benches started the process of creating the ground for strict action by insisting in their addresses in the House that a day’s suspension was not commensurate with the “crime” committed by the Congress legislators. The Treasury Benches also made the manhandling of a policeman doing watch and ward staff duty a “Dalit” issue by alleging that the Congress legislators knew they were attacking a “Dalit’ but did not care less.

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