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Punjab State Assembly Witnesses Scuffle Between Akali And Congress MLAs

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Punjab State Assembly witnesses scuffle between Akali and Congress MLAs

Ludhiana, Dec.8 (ANI): Legislators of ruling Akali Dal and the opposition Congress party got into scuffle with each other in the State assembly of Punjab over the racial violence in Ludhiana city.

It all started when some Congress legislators moved towards Deputy Chief Minister and State's Home Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal when he was replying to a Call Attention Motion on the State's law and order situation.

Authorities were forced to impose curfew in Ludhiana following violent protests by sundry Sikh fora against the holding of a public discourse by a controversial religious cult leader.

In context of these violent incidents, Prakash Singh Badal chief of Punjab was confronted by the opposition legislators belonging to Congress on the floor of the House while the ruling Akali Dal legislators rushed and formed a ring around him.

Consequently, a scuffle ensued between the warring legislators. Later, leader of the opposition and former chief of Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhattal staged a protest along with her fellow legislators outside the Assembly.

Bhattal claimed that the Speaker of the Assembly should have listened to them instead of Prakash Singh Badal. Further, she contended that Congress legislators were forced out of the assembly in the scuffle.

"Whatever happened in Punjab, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, this must stop. Speaker should have listened to us instead of Prakash Singh Badal (state chief). The legislators of Akali Dal entered into a scuffle with the Congress legislators and forced us out of the Assembly," said Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

However, chief of Punjab Prakash Singh Badal termed the incidents as unfortunate.

"The incident was unfortunate. Although earlier also Congress people have created uproar in the assembly, this is for the first time that they started up with violence," said Prakash Singh Badal.

Sikh organisations had taken to streets on Saturday (December 05) to protest the holding of a public discourse by controversial religious leader Ashutosh Maharaj, who has not found favour with Sikh groups for allegedly preaching against their religion.

The protestors had pelted stones and damaged public property, forcing police officials to use teargas and open fire to disperse the crowd. Many protestors had got injured in the violence.

Radical group leaders like Bhai Mohkam Singh, Convenor of Khalsa Action Committee, Kanwarpal Singh Bittu of Dal Khalsa, Baljit Singh Daduwal, Ranjit Singh, and Jasbir Singh Rode were among those who had led the protests.

Although the discourse was supposed to be held over two days - December 5 and 6 - the violent clashes prompted the district administration to cancel the permission granted to hold the conference.

Many Sikh organisations, including the radical Dal Khalsa, said that the discourse was backed by the state government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Swami Ashutosh Maharaj heads an organisation named Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJSS).

Reportedly Ashutosh Maharaj's promotion of Hindu tenets has found favour with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Swami Ashutosh Maharaj has been on the hit list of the Sikhs since the eighties, after he allegedly spoke against the Sikh gurus and their religious text, the Guru Granth Sahib.


Source: Print Story: Punjab State Assembly witnesses scuffle between Akali and Congress MLAs on Yahoo! News
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