Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh has taken full responsibility for screening revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia's controversial video clip during the Maghi Mela rally at Muktsar on Sunday.
The clip shows Majithia hurling abuse at Congress MLA Rana Gurjit Singh in the Vidhan Sabha during the winter assembly session last month.
Amarinder said on Monday that the speaker's order of expunging the clip from the assembly records or banning its screening was irrelevant since it was already in the public domain.
The former CM said how could the clip be expunged when it had already been telecast live on news channels such as PTC with the speaker's permission.
Questioning the impartiality of speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal on the issue, Amarinder said it was obvious and clearly audible what Majithia had said in the assembly. All members present in the House and all journalists in the media gallery heard what Majithia said and still he (speaker) claims that he did not hear anything, the Captain added. If the speaker really did not hear anything, then what made him expunge the remarks from the records and suspend the Congress MLA and let off Majithia, the former CM asked.
About the speaker seeking opinion from constitutional experts on legal action against Congress MLAs for screening the video, the PPCC president said he (speaker) should better examine his own role and constitutional duty first.
Amarinder told the speaker that he had ordered the screening of the video clip and none of his MLAs should be held responsible for it. "If you have any problems, you deal with me and do not harass my MLAs," he told the speaker.
The Captain asked the speaker why he (speaker) was not prepared to take any action against Majithia even now, when the whole world knew what he (Majithia) had spoken inside the august chamber. "Just because you have volunteered not to listen and watch yourself what Majithia said does not mean others should also be forced not to listen and see," he said.
The PPCC president said the speaker could not escape his constitutional duty by volunteering to be ignorant about what happened in his presence. Amarinder said it reflected badly upon the speaker's functioning that he was feigning ignorance about an incident whose existence had been proved beyond doubt.
Amarinder said Majithia, in newspaper interviews after the incident, had himself admitted that he did abuse Rana Gurjit on the floor of the House.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday strongly condemned Capt Amarinder Singh's statement against Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal and described it as highly unconstitutional, undemocratic and most unfortunate.
In a statement released from the party head office, SAD secretary and spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said Amarinder's statement had again proved that Congress leaders were habitual of speaking against those constitutional bodies which did not work according to their wishes.
He stated that Amarinder had earlier spoken against the appointment of the Punjab Lokpal and the Congress' central leaders had criticised the working of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and other constitutional bodies as these had exposed the corruption of the Congress-led UPA government.
Education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, in a statement, said the Congress was earlier paranoid of Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal but now they seemed to have developed a phobia of Bikram Singh Majithia as well.