BJP MLAs on Tuesday decided to “halt” their protest at the Delhi Assembly but said they will hit the streets and continue their agitation against the alleged corruption of the AAP government.
The BJP MLAs were marshalled out of the House for the third day amid multiple adjournments and sloganeering by the leaders of both the ruling AAP and BJP.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri had earlier said the MLAs will sit on a night-long protest for the second consecutive day to demand a probe into various scams by the Delhi government.
Later in a statement, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta said they are “halting” their dharna inside the Delhi Assembly premises.
“The BJP MLAs have vowed to continue their agitation demanding reply in serious cases of financial irregularities emerging in the Excise Policy 2021-22 and construction of classrooms,” he said.
He said CM Arvind Kejriwal along with his deputy Manish Sisodia cannot evade people’s questions for long. “There is irrefutable evidence that show complicity of Education and Excise Minister Sisodia in the unfolding of liquor and classroom scam,” he alleged.
He said they would hit the streets and make people aware of the “mountain of corruption cases” piling up against the AAP government.
On Monday, MLAs of both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP had staged an overnight protest at the assembly premises amid an ongoing war of words between the two parties on allegations of corruption. The AAP MLAs are also not camping in the Assembly.
AAP legislators are demanding the resignation of Delhi LG V K Saxena while the BJP lawmakers were pressing for the sacking of ministers Satyendar Jain and Sisodia over alleged corruption allegations. The AAP has accused Mr Saxena of pressuring two of his subordinates to get demonetised currency notes worth Rs 1,400 crore exchanged during his term as the Khadi and Village Industries Commission chairman (KVIC) in 2016.
The BJP MLAs were marshalled out by Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla on Friday and Monday. Multiple adjournments marred Tuesday’s session, and around 2 pm, the session resumed during which Sisodia addressed the House.
Mr Sisodia referred to BJP as the ”Bachcha Chor Party”, apparently referring to the arrest of a BJP corporator in an alleged child kidnapping case, following which BJP legislators protested, prompting Birla to marshal out everyone, except Bidhuri. He, however, walked out in protest.
“I would have also been marshalled out later had I not walked out in protest. They wanted us to hear the ‘pravachan’ of their saint Manish Sisodia. It has been three days since they are using the Assembly for their publicity and not allowing Opposition to raise issues or question them,” Mr Bidhuri told PTI over phone.
He said party members were demanding a discussion on the liquor and education “scams”, but the deputy speaker not only ignored their demands, but also got them marshalled out of the House. “BJP members had given notices for discussion on liquor scam and education scam in the house even today. No explanation has come from the government till now on the liquor scam of thousands of crores,” he said.
The Delhi government kept the CVC report on hold for two and a half years, despite it clearly stating about a scam in the construction of classrooms, he said.
“The Kejriwal government is running away from discussion on both these issues. The MLAs of the ruling party continued to create hue and cry in the well of the House, but it is unfortunate that the BJP members were thrown out to suppress their voice. “The Kejriwal government has no answer to these allegations, so they are not tolerating the opposition even in the House,” he said.
Mr Bidhuri said they have already written to President Droupadi Murmu over their “voices being throttled in Delhi Assembly” and have sought an appointment with her.
Earlier in the day, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri arrived to meet the party’s eight MLAs who sat on a night-long protest but was stopped at the gate. Later, he went to Rajghat to pour ‘Gangajal’ outside its gate. He said it is a pious place which was made impure by people involved in liquor “scam”.
AAP leaders had visited Rajghat last week to underline the failure of ‘Operation Lotus’ in Delhi. They had alleged that BJP had tried to poach some of their MLAs, including Mr Sisodia, by offering them Rs 20 crore each but had failed to do so since their lawmakers were “hard-core honest”.
The Delhi Assembly Secretariat had issued an order on Tuesday banning the entry of MPs and political party leaders in view of the tense situation prevailing due to the overnight protests by both the parties.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)