The second day of the Winter Session of the State Assembly was marred by the boycott of proceedings of the House by the Congress legislators. Protesting against the alleged misbehaviour of the security personnel with the deputy leader of the Congress legislature party, Karan Mahara, the Congress MLAs sat on a dharna outside Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday. Mahara claimed that his vehicle had been stopped by two security personnel at Vidhan Sabha entrance.
He alleged that the personnel had misbehaved with him. He further said that two of his acquaintances who were in the vehicle with him had also been stopped though they had valid passes issued by the Vidhan Sabha.
An infuriated Mahara sat on dharna at the entrance of the Vidhan Sabha while other Congress MLAs, including the state Congress chief Pritam Singh, the former Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, Aadesh Chauhan, Harish Dhami and Manoj Rawat, joined him.
With the sit-in on, the proceedings of Vidhan Sabha started. At the time there were three Congress MLAs present inside the House and they included the leader of the opposition Indira Hridayesh. When she came to know about the dharna of the Congress MLAs she along with others walked out of the House and joined the protest.
The Speaker Prem Chand Agarwal sent the State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant to persuade the agitated Congress MLAs into returning to the House. Pant assured that the issue would be inquired into.
He also said that the policemen involved in the incident would be sent to police lines as punishment. The assurance of the Minister, however, failed to pacify the agitated Congress members as they demanded suspension of the police personnel.
Mahara claimed that the Congress MLAs are deliberately being targeted by the State Government. “The Government was aware that we would raise uncomfortable questions on corruption and Lokayukt which is why the Government staged it. Our vehicles alone are being checked while other unauthorised vehicles are being allowed in,’’ he said.
Refuting the claim of the Congress MLAs, the State Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik said that the writ of the Speaker runs in the Vidhan Sabha. “The Government cannot stop Congress MLAs from getting into the House. The charge is thus false,” he added.
The Congress MLAs continued with their sit-in as the proceedings of Vidhan Sabha went on. Later, some other Congress leaders and workers also joined the dharna and raised slogans against the State Government.
The high drama ended late in the evening when police personnel, accused of misconduct, accepted their mistake and rendered an apology.