Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone on Thursday accused Mehbooba Mufti, president of the main Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), of indulging in "cheap politics".
"Mehbooba ji you are doing cheap politics....You are very very cheap in politics," the Speaker said as the PDP leader rose to defend her party`s silence during yesterday`s commotion in the House over the clemency resolution for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
After the House proceedings were disrupted yesterday, the Speaker had told reporters that he regretted the silence of the main Opposition PDP since the resolution for Afzal Guru was listed in the day`s business.
"Yesterday you kept quiet and did not utter a word. What was the meaning of your silence (over Guru resolution). You should be ashamed," Lone told Mehbooba.
The PDP leader said while her party was accused of being disruptive when it raised issues of importance, it was not being spared even when it wanted to cooperate in ensuring that the House proceedings are conducted smoothly.
The Speaker accused the PDP of enacting a "drama" in the Assembly. "You were also a character (in the drama). I am also a political worker and have a longer career than you. You should do an introspection," Lone said.
The Speaker`s remarks infuriated the PDP members who demanded an apology from him.
"There is no question of an apology. I stand by what I have said. Mehbooba is a leader and she will have to hear these things," he said.
As the PDP members continued agitating over the matter, the Speaker said if there were any words which the Opposition members considered derogatory, he would expunge them from the record. He, however, refused the apologise.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar intervened and apologised to Mehbooba after which the normal business of the House started.
PDP, which had announced its support to the clemency resolution, had remained silent spectators yesterday as BJP and Congress MLAs traded charges against each other, disrupting the House proceedings for the entire day.
The BJP MLAs demanded that the clemency resolution be dropped, calling it "anti-national".
The Congress MLAs demanded that the Speaker reveal the names of the BJP MLAs who had been expelled or suspended by the party for cross voting during the Legislative Council elections earlier this year.