Sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra was on Tuesday ejected out of the Delhi assembly after a prolonged scuffle.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel criticised the MLAs involved in heckling Mishra, saying the incident was “deeply disturbing, one that should have been avoided while the opposition BJP slammed AAP for such “unprecedented act of goondaism”.
The incident happened around 20 minutes into the proceedings of the House, convened to clear the state GST Bill, as Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta moved a calling attention motion to discuss an alleged scam in procurement of medicines for government hospitals, an issue also raised by Mishra recently.
When Goel rejected Gupta’s proposal, Mishra stood up and held out a banner levelling allegations of graft against Kejriwal and minister Satyendar Jain and attempted to walk towards the Well.
A few AAP MLAs, including Madan Lal, Jarnail Singh, Jagdeep Singh and Amanatullah Khan, were seen pushing, shoving and hitting Mishra, which the sacked minister said was “orchestrated by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia”.
AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj rejected the allegations saying that Mishra was rather stopped from indulging in violence as he could have “attacked AAP MLAs”.
Mishra alleged that Kasturba Nagar MLA Madanlal allegedly strangulated him, while Tilak Nagar MLA Jarnail Singh and Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan hit him on his ribs and chest.
“Some more MLAs joined them and continued to attack me till the marshals intervened and took me out of the House. The MLAs were also threatening me to keep my mouth shut. I also saw Manish Sisodia instructing Jarnail Singh to move towards me and during the entire thing (Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal was giggling,” Mishra said.
Kejriwal did not react when journalists sought his response on the matter outside the Assembly.
Gupta, who was present in the House when the ruckus broke out, said the entire episode where a member of the House was assaulted by ruling party MLAs was “unprecedented”.
“We (BJP) will approach the Lt Governor over the issue,” he said.
The Speaker said he would “look into the matter”.
“Whatever happened today inside the Delhi Assembly is unfortunate. I am deeply disturbed with the incident. Whatever they (AAP MLAs) did was wrong. The MLAs should not have left their seats,” he told reporters.
While ruckus and chaos are routinely seen in legislatures across the country, including in Delhi, MLAs coming to blows or ganging up to assault a member is highly unusual and certainly a first in the AAP government’s two-year tenure.
Mishra, who held the portfolios of water and tourism in the Delhi government, was first removed from the Cabinet over “non-performance” and then suspended from the party after he alleged that Kejriwal accepted “Rs 2 crore in cash” from Jain.
Since then, he has been levelling a series of charges, mostly related to alleged financial irregularities in the AAP government, and had also gone on an indefinite fast seeking details of foreign trips made by some top leaders of the party.
— ANI (@ANI) May 31, 2017
In the video, Mishra is being held by Marshalls who forcibly pushed him out of the assembly at the instruction of the assembly speaker.
— ANI (@ANI) May 31, 2017
Later, Mishra told reporters that he was thrashed by four to five AAP MLAs after he demanded a special assembly session at Ramlila ground to ‘expose’ the alleged corruption of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleague, Satyendar Jain.
Mishra came to blows as the latter held out a banner with allegations of corruption against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Party MLAs, including Madan Lal, Jarnail Singh, were seen lunging at Mishra and dragging him as he raised a poster referring to the allegations, before Speaker Ram Niwas Goel ordered him to be marshalled out of the House.
Later, Goel adjourned the House, which was convened to pass the state GST bill, for 15 minutes.
“I was not allowed to speak. The moment I attempted to speak, four to five AAP MLAs started hitting me. It is perhaps for the first time that MLAs have been used to muffle a dissenting voice inside the House,” Mishra told reporters.
Mishra also alleged Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was behind the entire episode, saying the MLAs rushed towards him after he “prompted” them to do so.
(With additional inputs from PTI)