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Punjab Cong MLAs capture Speakerís chair
Allege raid on CLP leaderís office Blame Sukhbir, Majithia
Jangveer Singh/TNS

How it began
CLP leader Sunil Jakhar unauthorisedly brought the Tarn Taran assault victim and her father into the Assembly Complex
Speaker sent watch and ward staff and police to Jakharís office
Congress legislators confronted the officials and beat up a constable
Treasury benches moved a resolution initiating a privilege motion against Congress legislators who beat up the constable
Oppn raise slogans decrying ďpolice raidĒ on the CLP leaderís office

Chandigarh, March 13
Parliamentary democracy in Punjab touched a new low on Wednesday, with combative Congress legislators throwing papers and booklets towards the Speaker's podium, manhandling the watch and ward staff and eventually ďcapturingĒ the Speakerís chair in the Vidhan Sabha here after an alleged police raid on the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaderís office.

Trouble began in the morning when CLP leader Sunil Jakhar unauthorisedly brought the woman who hit headlines after being thrashed by policemen in full public view in Tarn Taran and her father into the Assembly Complex. The Speaker sent the watch and ward staff and police officials to Jakharís office where the girl and her father were sitting. Congress MLAs present there confronted the officials and beat up a constable.

Assembly proceedings came to a halt on the issue, with the treasury benches moving a resolution initiating a privilege motion against Congress legislators who beat up the police personnel. The Opposition reacted by raising slogans decrying the ďpolice raidĒ on the CLP leaderís office. This led to three successive adjournments.

Eventually the house re-convened at 2 pm with Gurtej Singh Ghuriana in the Chairmanís chair. Even as SAD legislator Dr Daljit Singh Cheema initiated the debate on a motion to thank the Governor for his address two days back, Congress legislators stormed the well of the House and raised slogans.

Under normal circumstances, the House was to be in session till 2.30 pm, but the Chairman extended the duration by 30 minutes. This nettled the Congress legislators, who had been raising slogans for quite some time. Tempers further shot up when Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal remarked in a lighter vein that the SAD-BJP was ready for even a longer session.

Congress legislator Ashwani Sekhri started collecting booklets placed on various desks, which were distributed to the legislators who started throwing them at the Chairman. Most affected was Assembly secretary Ved Prakash, seated directly below the Chairmanís podium. He got up when a few ďmissilesĒ hit his face. Marshalls blocked the salvos aimed at the Chairman as he continued to sit gamely.

Simultaneously, Congress legislators led by Amarinder Singh Raja Warring began breaking the security cordon leading to the Speakerís chair. Warring broke the cordon and marched to the Speakerís chair after manhandling and hitting a few marshalls.

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