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Ruckus in Punjab Assembly, Cong MLA suspended

PTI  Chandigarh, December 19, 2012
First Published: 19:08 IST(19/12/2012) | Last Updated: 19:24 IST(19/12/2012)

The debate on law and order situation in the Punjab assembly on Wednesday resulted in heated arguments between treasury and opposition benches leading to the suspension of a Congress legislator from the House.

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The trouble broke out when cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia, while participating in the debate started listing Congressmen outside Punjab allegedly embroiled in criminal cases forcing the opposition to stormed into the well of the House protesting the treasury member's accusations.

While the Congress flock led by CLP leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar was protesting in the well of the House raising slogans which were expunged by the speaker, Bikram carried on with his diatribe against their leaders including those allegedly involved in cases in Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana.

Bikram remained the center of Congress target especially for the recent murder of a police officer allegedly by an Akali leader at Amritsar falling in Majha region of Punjab where the minister enjoys a considerable clout.

Bikram accused Congress MLA and sugar baron Rana Gurjeet Singh Sodhi of getting at least 20 arms licences made from one single address of his "Ekta Bhawan" home at Kapurthala to help Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, who is under arrest in connection with the recent Chaddha brothers shootout case in Delhi.

He also mentioned that sitting Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu too is facing a murder case and another former MLA Avtar Singh Henry is not even a citizen of India.

Sodhi rushed towards Bikram to ask clarifications from him and both the MLAs allegedly hurled abuses over each other.

With situation turning out of control, speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

As the House re-assembled after the adjournment, Jakhar stood on his feet drawing the speaker's attention towards "serious objections" on what Bikram allegedly said about a sitting MLA.

Coming in support of his brother-in-law, Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal lambasted the Congress for calling the minister a "criminal and murderer."

Sukhbir said, "We (treasury benches) will not allow the House to function till an apology comes from Congress side... Rana abused a minister he should be suspended from the House."

Intervening in the matter, parliamentary affairs minister Madan Mohan Mittal moved a motion seeking suspension of Rana from the House for using an abusive language and threatening a Minister.

"Either you (Congress) apologise or Rana will be suspended," the Speaker told the opposition while putting the motion to vote.

However, Rana did not budge after which he was suspended from the remaining sittings of the House scheduled till Friday.

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