A day after alleging that his party colleague Nitin Tyagi threatened him with dire consequences, dissident AAP MLA Pankaj Pushkar Wednesday found himself facing a breach of privilege motion.
Tyagi, who denied Pushkar’s allegations in the assembly, claimed “false allegations” made by the Timarpur MLA had defamed him and he must be made answerable to the privileges committee.
Pushkar, who was seated two seats away from Tyagi, then stood up asking for the Speaker’s permission to speak with folded hands. “I am saying my life is in danger, Speaker sir. You have to hear me. I had given it to you in writing on November 27,” said Pushkar.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said he had gone through Pushkar’s claims about the interaction between him and Tyagi in the MLA lounge. Pushkar had written to the Speaker stating that Tyagi had on different occasions called him ‘Binny’ — an apparent reference to Vinod Kumar Binny who left AAP and joined BJP — and ‘gaddar’ (traitor).
He wrote that since he sat close to Tyagi in the assembly, he could hear the words very clearly. He said Tyagi had called him names.
Goel then said, “I would like to tell Nitin ji that henceforth, do not call him Binny.”
The 70-member House dominated by AAP then roared with laughter. As Pushkar urged the Speaker to hear him, MLA Somnath Bharti folded his hands and asked him to sit down.
Bharti is the chairman of the assembly privileges committee.
Pushkar, however, found an ally in Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, who told Goel, “This is just like what happens to us (BJP MLAs). This (Pushkar’s) is not an ordinary complaint. How can you muzzle the complainant?”
“Anyone speaking against this government is targeted, humiliated, degraded and insulted. They were making fun of the complainant (Pushkar) and the accused (Tyagi) was standing proud. Only yesterday, the chief minister had asked his party MLAs to respect everybody’s views but it has had no effect,” said Gupta.
Pushkar later said initiating a breach of privilege motion against him was ‘ridiculous’.
“They (AAP MLAs) are making a mockery of the assembly because they think nobody is watching them. But I have full faith in the constitutional system,” said Pushkar.