Chandigarh: Three Congress MLAs, including a former Speaker, were today suspended from the Haryana Assembly for six months for "tearing" copies of the Governor's Address.
The opposition legislators tore the copies while staging a protest near the Well of the House after party MLAs were suspended for interrupting Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki during his address to the House on the opening day of the budget session of the Assembly yesterday.
The Congress legislators have been accused of breaking the House decorum and laid down traditions by showing disrespect to Governor, the constitutional head of the State.
In the absence of suspended Congress MLAs that included the three legislators who were not present today, the House passed a resolution suspending former Speaker Kuldeep Sharma, Jaiveer Singh and Jagbir Singh Malik for six months.
Besides, the three legislators have also been barred from taking up membership of any Vidhan Sabha Committee for a period of one year, Speaker Kanwar Pal told the House after a resolution in this regard was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma.
However, senior Congress leader Karan Singh Dalal later told reporters, "there is no provision of suspending a member for six months by bringing a resolution. Under Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Haryana Legislative Assembly, there is no such provision. This has happened for the first time in Haryana's 50 year old history. At the most, a member could have been suspended for remainder of the session".
Barring Randeep Singh Surjewala who was not present, all the other Congress members had been suspended from Haryana Assembly yesterday for interrupting the Governor's address and staging a walkout when he was speaking.
Apart from the three Congress legislators, the House had yesterday passed a resolution and the Speaker ruled that the Congress members shall remain suspended for five sittings till the time a discussion on the Governor's address gets over.
During the Zero Hour today, Health Minister Anil Vij demanded that all those members who had torn the copies of the Governor's address be handed down strict punishment so that it acts as a deterrent in future for others.
"What they did amounts to contempt of the House and they deserve strict punishment for their action," Vij said.
Independent MLA Jai Prakash and senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala, who is Leader of Opposition, requested the Speaker not to suspend the three opposition legislators for a long period.