Uproar in Haryana Assembly, Cong members raise slogans, demand Sandeep Singh's resignation

His sports portfolio was taken away after an alleged case of sexual harassment against him was filed by a junior athletics coach.

Published: 20th February 2023 03:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2023 07:03 PM   |  A+A-

Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh

Haryana Sports Minister Sandeep Singh. (Photo | ANI)

By PTI

CHANDIGARH: The Haryana Assembly witnessed an uproar on Monday as slogan-shouting Congress members demanded resignation of minister Sandeep Singh over a sexual harassment case, but Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar asserted that his minister won't be asked to resign.

The Haryana Assembly witnessed an uproar on Monday as slogan-shouting Congress members demanded resignation of Sandeep Singh over a sexual harassment case, but Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar asserted that the minister won't be asked to resign.

The chief minister got up and thumping the desk said, "Istifa nahi lenge, nahi lenge, nahi lenge" (won't seek his resignation), prompting the opposition party MLAs to raise "shame shame" slogans.

The Congress members also staged a brief walkout against the continuation of Singh as minister.

The House witnessed uproar soon after obituary resolutions were passed to pay rich tributes to the prominent personalities who passed away between the period from the end of the previous session in December and the beginning of the current session.

Singh, who currently holds charge of the Printing and Stationery Department, was not present in the House.

His sports portfolio was taken away after an alleged case of sexual harassment against him was filed by a junior athletics coach.

Singh had informed the Speaker through an email that he would not be able to attend the assembly session on Monday as he was out of town.

The matter in the assembly was first raised by senior Congress leader Geeta Bhukkal, who was joined in by other party members, including Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Hooda said either Singh should resign or be sacked by the chief minister, which was opposed by Khattar, leading to an uproar in the House.

Congress members carried posters and raised slogans of "Haryana sarkar murdabad".

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said levelling allegations is one thing, but the minister has not been held guilty yet. "SIT is conducting investigations. Many FIRs are lodged, but inquiry is conducted first. You (pointing to Congress members) are declaring him guilty without the investigation being completed. Don't you have trust on law of the land?" asked the Speaker.

"Haryana CM already took back the minister's department (sports portfolio) for a fair inquiry. An inquiry is going on, let inquiry complete, future action will depend on its outcome. There is no question of resignation till then," Gupta said.

However, the Congress continued its demonstration against the BJP-JJP government.

Bhukkal said, on the one hand, Haryana government is saying 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao', but on the other hand, its minister was found to be involved in a sexual harassment case.

Hooda demanded a CBI probe "to find out truth". The former CM claimed that Singh was not being invited for the Haryana BJP's meetings after he was booked in sexual harassment case, but he was continuing as a minister. "He should either resign or the chief minister should sack him," Hooda said.

Later, Haryana minister Kanwar Pal told reporters that he believes no person can be held guilty till investigation is on.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Khattar, who is also the Leader of the House, paid tributes and read out the obituary resolutions.

Speaker Gupta and Congress leader Hooda also joined him as the House paid tributes to the prominent personalities, including former minister Jagdish Nehra, who passed away recently.

The House also paid tributes to 12 martyrs of Haryana who showed indomitable courage and made the supreme sacrifice while safeguarding the unity and integrity of the motherland.

Later, Hooda, when asked to comment on the Governor's address to the state assembly, told reporters that he completely rejected the claims made by the government in the address.

"The government got the Governor to make false claims, which are not visible anywhere on the ground.

Through the Governor's address, the government tried to present its failures as achievements.

The reality is that in the last eight years, the present government worked to push Haryana backward on every front.

"The government should be ashamed of the law and order situation in the state, but it is patting itself on the back," Hooda said.

He said elected heads of panchayats are agitating against e-tendering policy. "The government has made the panchayats powerless. They cannot get development work done in their villages even if they want to," he added.



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