Pro Pak slogan row: BJP repeats demand to seek apology from Akbar Lone

Jammu: BJP MLAs Monday created a ruckus in the assembly as they demanded registration of an FIR against NC legislator Mohammad Akbar Lone for raising pro-Pakistan slogan in the House.

As the House assembled this morning, the agitating BJP MLAs rose on their feet demanding apology, suspension of the member and filing of a sedition case against him.

BJP MLAs R S Pathania and Rajiv Jasrotia said it was not a minor issue and demanded a statement from the National Conference to clear its stand on the action of its member.

“We demand an apology from the NC MLA and an FIR be registered against him,” Pathania said.

The National Conference members countered the BJP and said the Speaker had already expunged Lone’s remarks. The party too had disassociated itself from the slogan.

Despite intervention by Speaker Kavinder Gupta, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri, deputy speaker Nazir Ahmad Gurezi, CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami and Independent MLA Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, the BJP members continued their protest and exchanged heated words with the opposition NC members.

Tarigami said that “we should not polarise” the situation.

However, calm was restored in the House after the Speaker said “we should take lessons from whatever happens in the House”.

“We will not allow this House to become a stage to divide the people on the name of religion or against the nation. One learns lessons from a mistake and henceforth it will not be repeated,” the Speaker said.

Veeri said the NC had already disassociated itself from the statement of Lone and requested the BJP members to take their seats.

National Conference MLA Mohammad Shafi Uri said party president Farooq Abdullah had already issued a statement and the Speaker had expunged the remark.

“The stand of our party is that we respect the sovereignty and integrity of the country. Nobody challenged the sovereignty and integrity of the nation so how it is the violation of the oath,” he said.

He accused the BJP of making an issue out of nothing after the remark was expunged.

CPI (M) legislator Tarigami said whatever the political differences, nevertheless “we have certain common ground as well and that every member of this House is on oath about the sovereignty and integrity of the country. Whatever had happened at that time, the house unanimously disapproved that leading to the expunging of the remarks”.

“NC leadership led by Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah should clarify their stand and remove the member from the party,” Ambardar said.

Notably, the BJP members protested in the Legislative Council also. The members demanded slapping of an FIR and suspension of senior Mohammad Akbar Lone for raising a pro-Pakistan slogan in the state Assembly.

BJP members later staged a walkout from the House.

As Legislative Council met for the day, BJP members raised the issue and demanded an apology from the NC leader.

BJP MLCs Surinder Ambardar and Vikram Randawa said it was not a minor issue and demanded a statement from the National Conference asking it to clear its stand on the action against its member.

They also demanded an FIR under sedition charges against the member who was present in the house and stayed silent.

The BJP members said that Lone had taking oath in the name of Indian Constitution and had raised pro-Pak slogans.

“BJP demands an apology from the NC MLA and an FIR should be registered against him. He should be suspended for sedition,” Ambardar said.

NC members countered the BJP saying that Lone’s remarks had been expunged and the party had disassociated from the slogan.

Legislative Council Chairman Anayat Ali said “we cannot do anything in this as he is a member of the Lower House and not a member of this House”.

On this, the BJP members carrying banners walked into the Well of the House and then staged a walkout.

Talking to reporters outside, Ambardar said it was unbecoming of a lawmaker to raise pro-Pak slogans when he has taken oath under the Constitution of India.

“NC leadership, Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, should clarify their stand and remove the member from the party for raising pro-Pak slogans in Assembly. By this act National Conference has again assumed its old title of Muslim Conference,” Ambardar said.


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