After a chaotic first day in the Delhi Assembly with four adjournments in three hours and no business conducted, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday alleged that the Congress and the BJP joined hands against the Aam Aadmi Party, especially after his government ordered filing of an FIR in the gas pricing scam, involving Reliance Industries Limited.
Both the Congress and the BJP took turns to disrupt the proceedings as they entered the well repeatedly, demanding the resignation of Law Minister Somnath Bharti and a discussion on his conduct.
Holding placards and raising slogans, legislators broke microphones of the Speaker and the Chief Minister, and tore documents.
Referring to the “synchronised manner” in which both parties created a ruckus, Mr. Kejriwal said: “For the first time, the nexus between the Congress and the BJP has been exposed. It seems the FIR against Mukesh Ambani has prompted both parties to get together and aggressively protest against the AAP.”
Further, he said, Mr. Ambani was “close” to both parties. “Mr. Ambani has been saying that Congress unki dukaan hain and he has been funding the campaign of [BJP’s prime ministerial candidate] Narendra Modi for a year now.”
Earlier, the session started with Leader of the Opposition Harsh Vardhan urging Speaker M.S. Dhir to begin the proceedings, taking up his ‘call attention motion’ for a discussion and suspension of Mr. Bharti. Pradesh Congress Committee chief Arvinder Singh, too, made a similar demand.
As Mr. Dhir did not accept the demand, the BJP MLAs entered the well and one of them threw bits of paper at Mr. Bharti.
Each time the House was adjourned for 20-30 minutes; once for more than an hour. Mr. Dhir even had a closed- door meeting with representatives of all parties, looking for a compromise. The Congress and the BJP, in fact, brought in a resolution, doing away with the Speaker’s powers to “name and suspend” legislators disrupting the proceedings.
Dr. Vardhan told journalists that his party initiated a motion to discuss Mr. Bharti’s “unconstitutional behaviour” in the midnight raid against African women in South Delhi, and “new disclosures that he may be involved with porn sites and his connections as a spammer.”
“We moved the motion against the Speaker because there was some truth in what we were saying, and I have noticed that even in the past, the Speaker, generally from the ruling party, has expelled legislators just because he doesn’t agree with what is being said,” he said. His party would continue its agitation against Mr. Bharti on Friday.
The Congress blamed the ruckus on the AAP. Mr. Singh said: “Had they accepted the ‘call attention motion,’ things would have not come to such a pass. They [the AAP] are not serious about running the House smoothly; they were so rigid in their approach that they did not respect the majority sentiment for a discussion.”
Mr. Kejriwal, however, denied the charge that his party was not willing to have a discussion on Mr. Bharti. “They kept moving the goalpost. After the Speaker allowed the discussion, they started demanding the resignation of Mr. Bharti, while others raised slogans demanding a pension fund.”