Haryana assembly adjourned after ruckus over minister Sandeep Singh, Nuh arson

The Haryana assembly session was adjourned for half an hour on Monday afternoon after opposition Congress members raised anti-government slogans and objected to the presence of state sports minister Sandeep Singh, who has been chargesheeted for sexually harassing and assaulting an athletics coach, in the House.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar (centre) interacting with his predecessor and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda (right) as state home minister Anil Vij looks on at the Haryana Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Monday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Pandemonium prevailed in the House as soon as Zero Hour began around noon as Congress MLAs were on their feet demanding Sandeep Singh’s resignation. Despite Speaker Gian Chand Gupta urging them to let the House function as the matter was sub judice and no discussion could be allowed on the issue, the Congress members marched to the well of House, forcing an adjournment for half an hour.

Also read: 51 people allowed to participate in Nuh ritual after yatra permission denial

The Congress leaders wanted to know why no action had been taken against the minister despite the Chandigarh Police filing a chargesheet against him in the sexual harassment case Friday. Former chief minister and Congress legislature party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda reiterated that the BJP leader, who is a former Indian hockey team captain, should resign immediately on moral grounds. “If he does not do so, the chief minister should seek his resignation,” Hooda said.

Speaking on the second day of the three-day monsoon session, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar ruled out any action against Sandeep Singh as the matter was being heard in a Chandigarh court. He said no discussion could be allowed on the issue.

During the verbal duel between the opposition and treasury benches, the Congress MLAs also demanded a discussion on the recent communal violence in Nuh. However, the Speaker denied them a discussion, saying the matter of demolition of houses was in the Punjab and Haryana high court.

Haryana minister Sandeep Singh, who is at the centre of a political storm, arriving at the Vidhan Sabha on Monday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

When the House resumed, the ruckus continued with the treasury and opposition benches engaged in a blame game over the situation in Nuh. State home minister Anil Vij said probe into the July 31 arson pointed to the involvement of Congress. He accused Ferozepur Jhirka Congress MLA Mamman Khan of triggering communal tension and said he had been issued a notice to join investigation.

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