Chandigarh, Mar 12 (PTI) Opposition INLD and Congress MLAs were today suspended by the Speaker for repeatedly creating ruckus in the Haryana Assembly over the issue of graft allegations against a senior functionary in selection of a municipal committee chairman.
They claimed that the allegations came to the fore in purported taped conversations between two people on the selection.
The issue, which was first raised by INLD’s Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, in the House led to its adjournment for about 50 minutes, even as the ruckus over the matter lasted for nearly two-and-a-half hours.
Ruckus continued despite Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar assuring a probe into the matter.
The Congress and INLD members demanded that the state government name the agency that will conduct the investigations into the alleged corruption charges against the senior functionary.
Speaker Kanwar Pal suspended the opposition MLAs for the remainder of the day’s proceedings.
The opposition also demanded that the senior functionary at whom “fingers were being pointed at” be removed from his post.
Khattar said that two audio tapes were circulating on social media, and that he had heard both.
“I have heard both and we will get the matter inquired, I want to assure that anyone who is found guilty will be punished,” the chief minister told the House while responding to the corruption allegations being made in the audio tapes.
Khattar also said, “Contradictory things were being said by the same person in the two audio tapes, and therefore, preliminary inquiry will need to be conducted to check the veracity of allegations being levelled”.
“In the audio tape being referred to, a conversation is taking place between two persons and a third person is being mentioned as an accused,” he said.
“Since the two tapes are contradictory, I have said that both these tapes will be examined and an FIR will be registered against those found guilty,” Khattar said, asking the opposition not to politicise the matter.
He said that pending inquiry there was no need for the person at “whom fingers were being pointed at” to resign.
However, Leader of Opposition and INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala demanded a categorical assurance that the government get the matter inquired by the CBI.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the government will get the matter inquired by the State Vigilance Organisation.
As opposition benches mounted attacks and the INLD and Congress joined hands to target the ruling BJP, Haryana Minister Nayab Singh asked them to recall their own time when “jobs were sold and corruption was rampant”.
INLD’s Jaswinder Singh Sandhu pointing towards Khattar told him that “he (the chief minister) may enjoy a clean image, but people under your nose are indulging in corrupt practices”.
Congress demanded an independent inquiry into the whole matter, saying “the government which talks about zero tolerance towards corruption should not be seen as shielding those against whom allegations of corruption were being made”.
The chief minister, amid the ruckus, again assured the House that an inquiry will be held and whosoever is found guilty will be dealt as per law.
However, not satisfied with Khattar’s assurance, Chautala sought that the senior functionary should be removed from his post first and then an inquiry should be held.
Chautala said that the chief minister should specify which agency will be asked to probe the matter.
The Speaker adjourned the House for 20 minutes and when it was to reassemble, it was again adjourned for another 30 minutes.
After the House reassembled after 50 minutes of being adjourned, INLD-Congress MLAs were up asking the ruling benches to specify which agency will probe the matter.
The Speaker told the opposition members that government has given them an assurance of probe, but they remained adamant on their demand.
Chautala then demanded that an FIR be registered against the person mentioned in the audio tape, saying this issue is connected to corruption.
The Speaker first suspended Sandhu for the remainder of the day’s session and then other INLD members including Chautala.
Marshals escorted the INLD members out of the House. Congress legislators were also named and suspended for creating ruckus.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.