Monday February 26, 2018
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Adjourned till noon: Episodes from the great Indian parliamentary circus

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Picture credit: thehindu.com
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By Sreyashi Mazumdar

Bizarreness and frivolity, these two words are hand in glove with our country’s parliamentarians’- the representatives of people who are supposed to behold responsibilities and wisdom, unlike the plebeians. Taking into consideration the opposition’s hammy protests in the recent past, and its vociferous attempt at being the soul vanguards of the poor, one might end up inferring the parliament as a circus wherein politicians take to every outrageous and horrid means to scuttle the expected decorum on the floor of the house.

Picture credit: indianexpress.com
Picture credit: indianexpress.com

While paging through the snippets of hamminess in Parliament or  words unleashed by our political leaders, one is reminded of the classic episode of hullabaloo that broke out last year while UPA 2, the then government at the helm of affairs, tabled the Telangana bill. Rajagopal, a man bearing high regards for decorum, one who endorses nothing but prudence and sagacity, ended up unleashing a bottle of pepper spray as a mark of reverence for his opponents who were hell bent on introducing the Bill.

The maverick was an MP of the TDP and in an attempt at protesting the Bill, he thought of taking to judicious means and ended up spraying pepper spray which not only vexed the continuity of the house but also ended up harming his colleagues. Our dear parliamentarians even went to the extent of uprooting microphones and using shards of broken glass to threaten the party in power.

Picture credit: indiatoday.in
Picture credit: indiatoday.in

Thinking of a high voltage drama, how can one forget Tapas Paul’s heart-wrenching statement on women. The actor turned TMC MP who has often been seen crooning away to cocky Bengali songs, in an attempt at taking a dig at his party’s arch rival, went to the extent of donning a Satanist role and rolled out his methods of salvation in a bid  to ensure his female party members’ security in the wake of increasing  attacks on them.

 Introspecting on the dire condition, he stood his ground and  called for an immediate action, “ If any CPI-M man dares to touch  anybody, I will take out my gun and shoot him. I warn my opponents …I will ask my boys to go there, they will rape them and leave them,” said the thoughtful Paul, a woman’s soul saviour.

Picture credit: indianexpress.com

If one talks of the grand episodes of Indian parliament, one might surely recall the recent fall out that shook viewers testifying a BJP MLA’s vehement attempt at supporting his party’s stance on Najeeb Jung, the Lt. Governor of Delhi. The scene was nothing less than a labyrinth, with our leaders laughing at a distorted scene, with marshals throwing out BJP MLA Om Prakash, owing to his stand on Alka Lamba’s comment on Najeeb Jung.

The heady leader was irked by Alka Lamba’s comment on Najeeb Jung, according to whom, Najeeb Jung must have paid a hefty amount to the ruling government for his appointment.  In order to further add to the flamboyance, the members of the legislative assembly were found laughing their lungs out at the buffoonery.

Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk
Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk

Toeing on a similar scene, SP MP Naresh Agarwal’s and BSP MP Avtar Singh Karimpuri’s blockbuster fist fight in the Lok Sabha over a Bill seeking to provide reservation for SC/STs in government jobs was in no way less than a melodrama etched with spice and action scenes worthy enough to be hooted at.

Our beloved leaders should understand and should learn to grasp the real meaning of decorum and scuttle their attempts at being buffoons. Sound deliberations and introspection might turn out to be a better option, hopefully someday they might mull over the same.

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Saw AAP MLAs Assaulting Chief Secretary, CM’s Advisor Tells Police

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement

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The AAP had denied the charges of assault and said that the Chief Secretary was making allegations at the behest of the BJP. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s adviser V. K. Jain on Thursday told police that he saw AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal “physically assaulting” Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, according to Jain’s statement recorded by the Delhi Police.

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement.

On Tuesday, the Chief Secretary had alleged that he was beaten up by the two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting.

ALSO READ: The assault on Chief Secretary exposes the double standards of AAP government

Police later arrested Khan and Jarwal and they were sent to judicial custody till Thursday.

According to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s adviser had called him over the phone and asked him to come to the Chief Minister’s residence for the meeting and Jain was also present there.

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According to the statement, Jain also saw that the Chief Secretary’s spectacles had fallen to the ground and the Chief Secretary picked them up and left the room. Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the Delhi Police submitted Jain’s statement at a city court, which said that Jain had gone to the washroom during the meeting and as he came out he saw the two AAP MLAs “physically assaulting” the Chief Secretary.

The statement was recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, which means that it was recorded in front of the police and not a magistrate.

Sources told IANS that Jain later recorded his statement in front of a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.

“The statement under section 164 was later recorded with the magistrate in front a camera, without the presence of police. In that statement also he (Jain) has said that he saw the two MLAs physically assaulting the Chief Secretary,” a police officer privy to the case told IANS.

The officer said that the statement under section 164 has also been submitted to the court.

Jain was first questioned on Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday and his statement was recorded on Thursday.

The change in Jain’s statement that the AAP was referring to was from a “question and answer” with Jain recorded by police after questioning him on Wednesday.

According to a copy of Wednesday’s “question and answer” recorded by police, when asked whether Jain saw the Chief Secretary being manhandled, he replied that he had gone to the washroom in between the meeting and he could not say what happened during that time.

“By putting pressure on him (Jain) throughout the day (Thursday) and by threatening him, police has forced him to change his statement,” AAP MP Sanjay Singh told the media here on Thursday.

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Singh said that the whole issue was a conspiracy to “bring down the Delhi government” and to “defame the AAP”. Wikimedia Commons

 

“How is it that the same Jain who emphatically said yesterday that he witnessed no assault during the entire time that he was present there has now claimed otherwise?” he asked.

Singh said that AAP MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof.

“But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police,” the AAP MP said.

The court on Thursday sent the two AAP MLAs, arrested on charges of assaulting the Chief Secretary, to judicial custody for 14 days.

ALSO READ: Delhi Chief Secretary row: AAP MLA arrested

Orders on the bail pleas of the two AAP MLAs and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.

Meanwhile, scores of Delhi government employees across the city observed a five-minute silence outside their respective offices as a protest against the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary.

The IAS Association said that officers would continue the protest every day, till steps are taken to “ensure safety and dignity” of government staff in the city.

The AAP also hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal by stating that he was “working as a BJP agent” and demanded action against those involved in “manhandling and beating up” Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. (IANS)