The Delhi Assembly on Thursday witnessed high drama after BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa alleged that his turban was “forcefully removed” when he was marshalled out of the House. AAP refuted his claim.
Sirsa, while speaking to the media outside the House, alleged that he was manhandled and his turban was forcefully removed during the adjournment in the House.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, while speaking inside the House, alleged that Sirsa removed “his turban with his own hands and stuck his leg in the chair while marshalls were requesting him to go out of the House”.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, terming the opposition MLA’s act as “condemnable”, referred the matter to the Privilege Committee.
The ruckus began soon after the House proceedings began and Sirsa demanded a response to his request for the removal of the Speaker.
Sirsa on December 24 submitted a notice to the Secretary of the Delhi Legislative Assembly seeking removal of the Speaker for dropping the line from the Resolution which read that “this House also resolved that Centre should withdraw Bharat Ratna from the then acting Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi”.
Following the request, Goel said he cannot accept it as such a notice has to be given 14 days in advance and he only received the notice on December 24.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs — Vijender Gupta, Sirsa and Jagdish Pradhan — then questioned the House on the removal of the demand from the resolution.
When the Speaker turned down their request, Sirsa came near the Speaker’s podium, prompting Goel to order the three BJP legislators to be marshalled out and also their suspension. Thereafter, Goel adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
The AAP MLAs alleged that the BJP MLAs were not going even as the marshalls asked them to do so after the House was adjourned.
“The marshalls were requesting Sirsa to go out after the House was adjourned. Sirsa abused the marshalls and manhandled them. He also stuck his leg in the chair purposely. He started shouting that his turban was being removed forcefully, while no one was touching his head or turban,” Bhardwaj said inside the House, as he demanded suspension of the BJP MLA for two sessions.
Goel, on the other hand, said he was “hurt” as the MLAs did not follow his order for going out of the House.
“The acts of the opposition were condemnable. They jump into the well again and again. I am hurt by their actions,” Goel said.
Talking to reporters outside the House, Gupta and Sirsa alleged that the “content of resolution was changed” as the ruling party wants to forge alliance with the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Sirsa also said the AAP MLAs encouraged the marshalls to manhandle the elected members.
A controversy erupted on December 21 when AAP MLA Jarnail Singh, after reading the resolution for speedy trial of cases and justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, added a line demanding withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna for Rajiv Gandhi. He alleged that the late Prime Minister had “justified anti-Sikh riots”.
The Delhi Assembly had adopted the resolution by a voice vote. However, there was a doubt if the line was part of the resolution or not.
On December 24, the Delhi Assembly released an official bulletin to clarify that the resolution adopted on the anti-Sikh riots by the House does not have any mention demanding the withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna conferred on late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.