AAP MLAs assault Mishra inside Delhi Assembly, Speaker calls it ‘unfortunate’

New Delhi, May 31 (PTI)
A number of AAP legislators today pushed and punched sacked minister Kapil Mishra inside the Delhi Assembly, before he was dragged out of the House by marshalls.

The AAP MLAs lunged at Mishra, hit him and pushed him down after he unfurled a banner with allegations of corruption against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and demanded a special session of the Assembly to be held at Ramlila Maidan to discuss the matter.

Speaker Ram Niwas Goel criticised the MLAs involved in heckling Mishra, saying the incident was “deeply disturbing, one that should have been avoided while the opposition BJP slammed AAP for such “unprecedented act of goondaism”.

The incident happened around 20 minutes into the proceedings of the House, convened to clear the state GST Bill, as Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta moved a calling attention motion to discuss an alleged scam in procurement of medicines for government hospitals, an issue also raised by Mishra recently.

When Goel rejected Gupta’s proposal, Mishra stood up and held out a banner levelling allegations of graft against Kejriwal and minister Satyendar Jain and attempted to walk towards the Well.

A few AAP MLAs, including Madan Lal, Jarnail Singh, Jagdeep Singh and Amanatullah Khan, were seen pushing, shoving and hitting Mishra, which the sacked minister said was “orchestrated by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia”.

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj rejected the allegations saying that Mishra was rather stopped from indulging in violence as he could have “attacked AAP MLAs”.

Mishra alleged that Kasturba Nagar MLA Madanlal allegedly strangulated him, while Tilak Nagar MLA Jarnail Singh and Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan hit him on his ribs and chest.

“Some more MLAs joined them and continued to attack me till the marshals intervened and took me out of the House. The MLAs were also threatening me to keep my mouth shut. I also saw Manish Sisodia instructing Jarnail Singh to move towards me and during the entire thing (Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal was giggling,” Mishra said.

Kejriwal did not react when journalists sought his response on the matter outside the Assembly.

Gupta, who was present in the House when the ruckus broke out, said the entire episode where a member of the House was assaulted by ruling party MLAs was “unprecedented”.

“We (BJP) will approach the Lt Governor over the issue,” he said.

The Speaker said he would “look into the matter”.

“Whatever happened today inside the Delhi Assembly is unfortunate. I am deeply disturbed with the incident. Whatever they (AAP MLAs) did was wrong. The MLAs should not have left their seats,” he told reporters.

While ruckus and chaos are routinely seen in legislatures across the country, including in Delhi, MLAs coming to blows or ganging up to assault a member is highly unusual and certainly a first in the AAP government’s two-year tenure.

Mishra, who held the portfolios of water and tourism in the Delhi government, was first removed from the Cabinet over “non-performance” and then suspended from the party after he alleged that Kejriwal accepted “Rs 2 crore in cash” from Jain.

Since then, he has been levelling a series of charges, mostly related to alleged financial irregularities in the AAP government, and had also gone on an indefinite fast seeking details of foreign trips made by some top leaders of the party.

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