Bhopal: Ruling BJP and rival Congress MLAs were on Tuesday involved in a scuffle in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly premises during which the Leader of the Opposition was allegedly punched after pandemonium rocked the House over Vyapam scam.
The Assembly was adjourned several hours ahead of schedule as BJP and Congress created a ruckus and traded charges over the Vyapam scam relating to irregularities in admissions and recruitment.
At noon, the House was finally adjourned for the day after it passed a Censure Motion against Congress members for indulging in unparliamentary behaviour. The Monsoon Session of the Assembly began yesterday.
The scuffle took place when the Congress legislators were staging a protest in the hall near the main entry of the House after the Assembly was adjourned for the day by Speaker Sitasharan Sharma.
Congress MLA Sunderlal Tiwari and other members were talking to mediapersons demanding Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's resignation over the scandal.
BJP members, including MLAs Sudershan Gupta, Rameshwar Sharma Gupta and Manoj Patel, raised slogans like "Congress ki dadagiri nahi chalegi" and allegedly tried to disrupt the Congress legislators' interaction with the mediapersons.
This led to a scuffle among them in which Congress MLAs Rajneesh Thakur and Madhu Bhagat fell down along with some media persons.
Later, talking to reporters in the media room, Tiwari alleged that an attempt was made to scuttle their voice and challenged BJP to have a fight in the open to settle score.
"I was dragged and prevented from speaking to the media. They caught me from behind and threatened that you raise too much voice on Vyapam scam and we will see you," he further alleged.
Leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare told reporters, "Even I was pushed by the BJP members. We strongly condemn the incident. It is an attempt to suppress our voice. The behaviour of ruling party members is highly condemnable and we will file a written complaint to the Speaker on the issue."
Katare was later admitted in a hospital after he complained of chest pain, alleging that it was the result of being punched by two BJP MLAs.
BJP MLAs Sudarshan Gupta and Manoj Patel, who were allegedly involved, called the allegation baseless and "totally false".
"Katare experienced pain in the right side of chest when he was eating his lunch at 2 pm. He told us that BJP MLAs (Sudarshan) Gupta and (Manoj) Patel hit him in the Assembly premises at noon," said Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi, who took Katare to Narmada Hospital here.
Chaturvedi told a news agency that doctors scanned Katare's chest to find out if he had internal injuries and the report was awaited. The 60-year-old Congress leader had been advised to stay in the hospital under observation, he added.
Gupta told a news agency, "I didn't even touch Katare as I was some ten feet away. Katare's allegations are totally baseless and false."