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Amarinder expelled from Assembly

The Punjab Assembly expelled former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh from the House following his indictment in a graft case and declared the seat vacant for holding a by-election.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2008 19:22 IST

In an unprecedented action, the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday expelled former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh from the House following his indictment in a graft case and declared the seat vacant for holding a by-election.

The expulsion of 66-year-old Singh, who was Chief Minister from 2002 to 2007, came amid chaotic scenes with the opposition Congress MLAs rising in protest against a resolution moved by the Chairman of the nine member-House Committee Harish Rai Dhanda.

This is perhaps the first time a former chief minister of any state assembly has been expelled for the rest of the term of the House and the seat declared vacant in this fashion. Amarinder, who represents Patiala, called the action political vendetta and unconstitutional and vowed to challenge it in court.

Dhanda, who headed the House committee that indicted Amarinder for alleged irregularities in a land transfer deal in Amritsar, moved the resolution in the midst of pandemonium when the House was to discuss the report of the Committee.

Slogan shouting Congress MLAs, barring Leader of Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Amarinder, rushed to the the well of the house and clashed with the Watch and Ward staff to reach near the Speaker's podium. They later staged a walk out.

The House also adopted by voice vote a breach of privilege motion moved by SAD member Virsa Singh Valtoha against the former Chief Minister and another sitting Congress member Makhan Singh on the charge of casting aspersions on Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Dhanda and the House Committee.