Congress legislators staging a protest outside the assembly premises against the March 3 police lathi-charge seemed to be in a Catch-22 situation on Thursday.
Their dilemma is that the party leadership is reportedly pushing them to continue the sit-in to keep the issues of lathicharge on party leaders, especially on the state party chief Sachin Pilot and suspension of eight party legislators from the House for the entire budget session alive, but they have no evidence to support the lathicharge on Pilot. Video footages of the incident were scrutinised by senior legislators of the ruling party and the opposition on Wednesday.
“None of the video footages shows Sachin Pilot being lathicharged, while a mild force was used on other Congress members when they tried to break and cross over barricades,” said a legislator, who scrutinised the video footages. Senior Congress legislator Pradyuman Singh, who also watched the footages, accepted that lathi-charge on Pilot was not visible in the recordings. Singh, however, contended that Pilot had received injury on his arm. “It may be that lathi-charge on him is not recorded in the scrutinised video footages,” he said. Home minister Gulab Chand Kataria informed the House, “We invite the opposition to break the deadlock and participate in the House functioning. If they have (Cong MLAs) any footage corroborating their charges we are ready to watch it and decide the next course of action.”