Leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira during a press conference at the Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Wednesday.(HT Photo)
Leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira during a press conference at the Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Wednesday.(HT Photo)

Ugly turn to audio clip row, Khaira loses cool, lashes out at Capt

Leader of oppn’s disparaging remarks come after House passes a resolution against Bains brothers who released the clip.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2017 11:29 AM IST

The ongoing audio clip controversy took an ugly twist when leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira launched a no-holds-barred attack on Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday, using intemperate language and taking swipes at his private life.

The AAP leader flew off the handle after the Punjab assembly passed a resolution against Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLAs, Balwinder Bains and Simarjeet Bains, who released the audio clip of an alleged attempt to bribe a judge in a drug case against Khaira, and requested the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana to take suo motu notice and action in the matter.

An emotionally charged Khaira led a walkout of AAP and LIP members from the House and held an impromptu press conference in the press room where he made disparaging remarks against the chief minister and a journalist friend of his from Pakistan.

Khaira, who has repeatedly accused the state government of framing him in the controversial drug case, broke down, alleging a conspiracy to “eliminate me politically and physically”. AAP MLAs, Kanwar Sandhu and Aman Kumar Arora, who were flanking Khaira, tried to calm him down, but he snubbed them. “Let me say what I feel. I am not overstepping. I am stating facts only,” he insisted.

Continuing his outburst against the chief minister, the leader of opposition, who has been making headlines for his hectoring attacks on rivals, used several unprintable words. “By passing the resolution against the two MLAs, Capt has tried to obstruct the justice in a false case against me,” he said.

On being questioned about use of swear words by Khaira, Sandhu and some other AAP leader called it an “emotional outburst” and “unintentional reaction”. Sandhu apologised on his behalf, but Khaira did not show any remorse. Simarjeet Bains even defended him, asking the mediapersons what else they were expecting from a person falsely framed in the case.

While the AAP-LIP members are still to decide their next strategy on the resolution passed by the state assembly, the subsequent flare-up, particularly his language, triggered by it has caused disquiet in a section of the party. The resolution moved by parliamentary affairs minister Brahm Mohindra, which caught most members on treasury benches unawares, strongly condemned the “wrongful involvement” and “scandalous allegations” made against the judge for “political purposes and vested motives.

“The House would urge and request the chief justice to take further action as required in the case which amounts to nothing short of impairing the majesty of law, obstructing the administration of justice and lowering the image and dignity of the court and its honourable judges,” it read.

Khaira files police complaint

Sukhpal Khaira, on Wednesday filed a complaint with Chandigarh Police in the audio clip scandal. Khaira said he handed over the complaint to deputy inspector general (DIG) Om Prakash Mishra. “I will share the details and names of persons against whom I want the case once the police call me to record my statement,” he said, refusing to share any further information. He was accompanied by MLAs Kanwar Sandhu, Aman Arora, Balwinder Bains and Simarjeet Bains. Mishra said the MLA’s complaint is being examined. He, too, refused to divulge its contents.

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