Rivals gang up against AAP

For the first time in 20 years, arch rivals BJP and Congress were seen supporting each other’s statements.

On Friday, after the election of Speaker, Congress legislator Prahlad Singh Sawhney accused AAP government for overlapping the rights of a legislator by sending the government officers on the rounds of his constituency with the AAP leader who was defeated in the election.

The BJP leaders supported Sawhney and slammed the AAP government for arbitrary attitude. Challenging Kejriwal government over the issue, Sawhney said, “We have supported you but it does not means that you will disrespect us. You have to understand the dignity of an elected public representative. You must inform the local MLA and your officer should not take rounds of the area with your party workers and leaders.”

Congress MLA and DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely supported Sawhney and asked the Speaker to caution the new government over ignoring certain protocols. “The members must have a right of protection of their rights. You have changed the government but you cannot change protocols. An MLA is above your chief secretary or any other secretary. If any secretary is visiting an area, he must inform the local MLA,” he said.

The BJP leaders backed his statement by thumping the table. BJP leaders Jagdish Mukhi, Ramesh Bidhudi, Anil Jha and other also stood and demanded a response from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who had left the House due to bad health. Congress MLAs Asif Mohammad Khan, Jai Kishan, JDU MLA Shoaib Iqbal and others trooped in to the well for a while. Lovely convinced them back to their seats as the Speaker allowed Manish Sisodia to respond.

Sisodia tried to pacify the legislators by assuring a separate discussion on the issue but the MLAs refused to accept his proposal. “We can discuss it later. We shall keep the dignity of thanksgiving to the speaker. We want a system in the government that the officer shall go with any aam adami,” he said. Leading the team of Congress and BJP MLAs who were creating ruckus on the issue, Lovely demanded a satisfactory answer from the Speaker.

“There are three pillars of democracy and we are one of them. You (Speaker) must ensure the rights of the legislators. We are not going to back out without any assurance,” Lovely told the Speaker.

The Speaker then took the charge to pacify the irked MLAs and assured protection of the rights of MLAs.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Haroon Yusuf was appointed as the leader of Congress Legislative Party and Jagdish Mukhi was appointed as BJP’s new chief whip. Congress MLA Devender Yadav was appointed as the chief whip to the CLP and Jai Kishan has been made the deputy CLP leader.

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