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Mann Asks Speaker To 'Lock' Opposition In House During Discussion, Triggers Uproar

Mann, on the second day of the Budget session in the Punjab Assembly, slammed opposition MLAs for disruption of Governor's address on the opening day of the Budget session on March 1 and demanded a discussion in the House.

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Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann
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Unruly scenes broke out in the Punjab Assembly Monday after Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann handed over "a lock and key" to the Speaker, asking him to lock the Opposition  inside the House so that they don't walk out during a discussion.

Mann, on the second day of the Budget session in the Punjab Assembly, slammed opposition MLAs for disruption of Governor's address on the opening day of the Budget session on March 1 and demanded a discussion in the House.

Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan, on the request of AAP MLAs, allowed the discussion on the disruption of the Governor's address, in a departure from the practice of taking up 'Question Hour' and 'Zero Hour' at the beginning of a session.

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Before the discussion commenced, Mann gave the Speaker an envelope containing a "lock and key", asking him to get the door of the House locked from inside so that the opposition members do not leave during the discussion.

"I will speak the truth and they will not tolerate it. Put a lock so that they do not run away," Mann told the Speaker.

Leader of Opposition and Congress member Partap Singh Bajwa told Mann that they would not run away.  However, the latter kept asserting that the opposition MLAs would leave, following which a heated argument took place between the two.

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As Bajwa and Mann sparred, the Speaker said the issue of putting a lock on the door of the House was symbolic so that the discussion can take place in the House.

The treasury benches and Congress MLAs also had a heated exchange, following which the Speaker adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

Even after the House was adjourned, the members of the ruling AAP rushed towards the opposition benches after Bajwa made some remark and the verbal exchange stopped short of turning physical.

The heated exchanges between some of AAP MLAs and the Congress legislators continued even as some MLAs from both parties tried to intervene to calm the situation. 

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit's address to the state Assembly on the opening day of the Budget session on March 1 was disrupted by the opposition Congress MLAs, who raised the issues of protesting farmers and resorted to sloganeering.

Amid the uproar, Purohit had cut short his address. He read out a few lines and told the House that the rest of it be deemed as read.

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