Chandigarh: Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal was suspended from Haryana Assembly on Tuesday for one year after the House saw ugly scenes with the legislator and Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala charging at each other with a shoe in their hand after hurling abuses, prompting the Speaker to summon marshals.
A resolution to suspend Dalal, which was supported by main opposition INLD, was moved by Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu over alleged use of derogatory language and misconduct by the Congress legislator and passed by voice vote in the House.
During the proceedings, the firebrand Congress MLA from Palwal had a heated exchange with Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Chautala and both stopped short of exchanging blows.
Chautala held a shoe in his hand as he advanced aggressively towards Dalal who too took out his shoe as both hurled abuses at each other. The Speaker summoned House marshals to form a human chain around the two legislators. The Congress MLAs including former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda held Dalal's hands in a bid to prevent the situation from escalating further. Later, the Assembly was adjourned briefly.
The Congress protested against the suspension of its MLA, alleging that the BJP was misusing its majority in the House. Dalal said he would move the court against his suspension and questioned why no action was taken against Chautala.
The trouble started when Dalal expressed his unhappiness over a minister's reply to his supplementary questions on the Calling Attention motion over alleged deletion of some ration cards belonging to the poor.
The government, in its reply, denied the allegation. But dissatisfied with Minister Karan Dev Kamboj's response, Dalal accused the government of snatching the rights of the poor and used a word which angered the ruling benches.
Ministers Anil Vij, O P Dhankar, Manish Grover and Capt Abhimanyu hit back at Dalal, asking him how could he use word which "brings disrepute for Haryana".
They claimed that Dalal has not only insulted the House, but entire 2.5 crore population of the state, which the Assembly represents.
Dhankar slammed Dalal for using "insulting words for the motherland". Dalal tried to clarify, saying he had said that government is insulting the poor by snatching their rights.
As the ruckus continued, Dalal sought a ruling from Deputy Speaker Santosh Yadav, who was in the Chair at that time, on whether such a word could be used.
However, amid the din, Yadav adjourned the House for 10 minutes.
As the House re-assembled, Speaker Kanwar Pal resumed the proceedings. Dhankar and some other ruling BJP members raised the demand that Dalal be suspended from the House.
The Speaker urged both the ruling and opposition MLAs to refrain from using unparliamentary language in the House, telling them "otherwise it will be difficult to continue like this".
The Speaker then asked Dalal to take back his words.
However, Dalal sought a ruling from the Speaker whether the word used by him "was parliamentary or unparliamentary".
Congress MLA Raghubir Singh Kadian too came to his defence and sought to know under what rules the resolution to suspend Dalal for one year was moved.
Meanwhile, Capt Abhimanyu said the Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala too should express his views on the matter.
Chautala said "the kind of language used by Dalal, who is a five-time MLA, was unacceptable". Seeking an apology from Dalal will not serve the purpose, he said and asked the treasury benches to move a resolution for Dalal's suspension, adding the INLD will support it.
Soon, the heated exchanges erupted between Chautala and Dalal and Speaker Kanwar Pal adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
As the House re-assembled once again, Capt Abhimanyu moved the resolution condemning use of derogatory word by Dalal for Haryana and for his conduct "unbecoming of a member".
Hooda took strong objection to the resolution, saying the BJP was misusing its majority in the House to suspend opposition MLA without allowing him an opportunity to give a proper explanation.
"If Mr Dalal has said something, I and my party apologise on his behalf. I have also been a four-time Lok Sabha MP and am a four-time MLA, but never before have I seen such a situation where opposition MLA is suspended without being given a chance to explain his side," Hooda said.
Later, talking to reporters outside the Assembly, Dalal termed his suspension as "illegal" and said he would move the court in this regard. "I was not granted an opportunity to explain things and no ruling was given by the Speaker whether the world was parliamentary or unparliamentary," he said.
Hitting out at Chautala, Dalal said, "why was he not suspended for taking out a shoe and charging at me".