The recent discussions on corruption in Parliament found its echo in Rajasthan assembly on Monday. But here, the legislators argued with their shoes.
The BJP began the offensive, with Kota legislator Bhawani Singh Rajawat throwing a sandal ‘borrowed’ from colleague Chandra Kanta Meghwal.
The footwear missed the Congress ranks, falling near the officers’ gallery instead. But a Congress legislator chose to retaliate, brandishing his boot.
The House was adjourned four times over the issue and peace was finally restored when Rajawat was suspended for a year. A speech by BJP’s Promila Kundera sparked off the battle around 3.30 pm. While talking on corruption, Kundera cited a land transfer made last year, which she claimed was illegal.
The deal concerned a water body at Chaksu near Jaipur, which was transferred in the name of Congress legislator Raghu Sharma’s wife.
Although Kundera did not name the legislator or his wife, Sharma began a long and spirited denial.
Irked, the opposition members trooped to the well of the House and in the ensuing chaos, the slipper was thrown. In reply, Sharma brandished his boot.
Congress legislator Pratap Singh Khachariya picked up the offending sandal and registered his protest with Speaker Deependra Singh Shekhawat, who immediately adjourned the House. The television footage of the proceedings was checked to hunt for the original culprit.
The issue was finally settled when chief whip of the ruling party Virendra Beniwal moved a motion to suspend Rajawat. “It is an unprecedented and unfortunate incident in the history of the state Assembly,” Beniwal said.
Thereafter, four bills were passed before the House was adjourned sine die. Later, Rajawat told reporters the incident was unfortunate.
In July 2009, Rajawat had been suspended alongwith two other BJP legislators for unruly behaviour in the House.