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In a Rare Occurrence, Both AAP & BJP Hold Overnight Protests in Delhi Assembly

While the AAP demanded the resignation of LG VK Saxena, the BJP called for the ouster of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia.

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In a Rare Occurrence, Both AAP & BJP Hold Overnight Protests in Delhi Assembly
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The MLAs of both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held overnight protests at the Delhi Assembly on Monday, 29 August.

While the AAP held protests near Mahatma Gandhi's statue on the Assembly premises, raising slogans and singing songs, the BJP held a sit-in near the statues of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru, and Sukhdev inside the Vidhan Sabha.

The AAP demanded the resignation of Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, whom the party accused of pressuring employees to exchange demonetised notes worth Rs 1,400 crore in 2016, when he was the chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

It also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was aware of the alleged corruption by Saxena but still appointed him as the LG of Delhi.

"Today, we will all stay under Gandhiji's statue in Vidhan Sabha to demand a CBI-ED probe of the LG. Hope our plea for justice will reach the right ears, and that the CBI will register a case and investigate the matter impartially," said AAP MLA Dilip Pandey.

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'BJP MLAs Not Heard in Delhi Assembly'

The BJP, on the other hand, demanded the ouster of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain from the state Cabinet over alleged corruption charges.

BJP leader Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said in a statement that the party MLAs had been forced to stage a demonstration overnight since they were not heard in the Delhi Assembly.

"The Kejriwal government is using the Delhi Assembly only to abuse the central government. The issues being discussed in the Assembly have nothing to do with Delhi," Bidhuri said, as per PTI.

This came hours after a confidence motion was moved by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to prove that the AAP had the support of all its MLAs. The party has been alleging that the BJP is trying to "topple" the state government.

The motion was, however, postponed to Tuesday, 30 August, amid ruckus in the House.

The BJP also alleged that its legislators were "expelled unconstitutionally" from the Assembly on Monday. This came after the MLAs protested in the well of the House and were marshalled out.
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During the day's proceedings, Kejriwal said that the BJP's 'Operation Lotus' had failed in Delhi, adding that the saffron party would try the same tactics in Jharkhand in the next 10-15 days.

This comes days after Kejriwal and other party leaders claimed that the BJP had offered Rs 20 crore to several AAP legislators if they shifted their allegiance to the saffron party and even more, if they managed to bring others along.

Assembly Secretariat Bans Entry of MLAs, MPs

Meanwhile, the Assembly Secretariat on Tuesday barred the entry of political leaders into its premises due to the overnight protests held by the AAP and the BJP.

"The deputy speaker has observed that as members from the ruling and opposition parties are staging protests inside the Assembly complex, security arrangements should be tightened in and around the Assembly complex to ensure that no untoward incidents take place," the Secretariat's order read.

However, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri arrived at the Assembly and said that he would participate in the session despite the Secretariat's order. He was, however, stopped at the gate.

The Secretariat said that only one visitor, accompanied by an MLA, would be permitted to enter the Assembly after the verification of their identity.

Sharing a copy of the order on Twitter, BJP leader Rohini Vijender Gupta said that the AAP government was "scared" and had thus banned the entry of legislators into the Assembly.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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