Shoaib Iqbal, BJP MLAs trade charges, create ruckus in House

Delhi AssemblyIqbal challenged BJP MLA Subhash Sachdeva for a duel in the Assembly. (IE Photo: Oinam Anand)

When pro-tem Speaker Mateen Ahmed allowed MLA Shoaib Iqbal of the Janta Dal (United) to speak on the confidence motion, little did he know that he would have to call in marshals to maintain order in the House. Iqbal's remarks on the BJP, Ram Mandir and the RSS had BJP MLAs on their feet hitting back. All remarks were expunged from the proceedings.

It was Iqbal's remarks on Malegaon and saffron terrorism which got the BJP MLAs agitated. BJP MLA Subhash Sachdeva, seated close to Iqbal, called him names, while other BJP MLAs, including Mahendra Nagpal, R P Singh, Ramesh Bidhuri, Kulwant Rana, Anil Sharma and Pravesh Sahib Singh, asked him to take back his "irresponsible" remarks.

Amid the din, Iqbal challenged Sachdeva to a duel. He then took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and proceeded to the well of the Assembly. Ahmed had to call in marshals to remove Iqbal.

At this point, Congress MLA Arvinder Singh Lovely gestured to Ahmed to stop the marshals. Lovely realised that removing Iqbal would reduce one vote in the confidence poll.

This had senior BJP MLA Jagdish Mukhi on his feet asking the pro-tem Speaker to maintain the dignity of his chair and not let any MLA rule him.

"You yourself told marshals to send him out of the house," Mukhi told Ahmed.

When Iqbal commented on the "clean image" of a senior leader of the BJP, the party MLAs protested and that remark too was expunged.

Ignoring this, Iqbal kept passing comments on BJP leaders. Realising his vote was going to act as the cushion for the government, he emphasised that his was the vote that could make or break the government.

The argument stooped to a new low when Iqbal called himself a "bull".

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