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Uproar in Parliament over AAP MP Bhagwant Mann’s video

As soon as the House assembled, several BJP members and its ally the Akali Dal were up on their feet demanding action against Mann for live streaming from Parliament

Both Houses of Parliament witnessed uproarious scenes on Friday, leading to their adjournment, over the live-streaming  of a video by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Lok Sabha member Bhagwant Mann.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled, several BJP  and Akali Dal members, including Kirit Somaiya and R.K. Singh, were up on their feet demanding action against Mann.

The AAP MP from Sangrur in Punjab wanted to say something but nothing could be heard in the din.

On Thursday, Mann had live-streamed a video clip of his journey from his residence to Parliament, including going past the various security pickets, drawing flak from various quarters for putting Parliament’s security in peril.

The Speaker summoned Mann to seek an explanation.

The AAP lawmaker later appeared before the Speaker.

The issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha also with members like Anand Sharma of the Congress and Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M maintaining that the issue amounted to breach of security and privilege of Members of Parliament.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi too termed the matter serious and said the government and the Lok Sabha Speaker are shocked by it.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said there is no doubt about the seriousness of the issue. However, as pandemonium continued for a while, Kurien adjourned the House till 12 noon.

Earlier, outside Parliament, Naqvi told reporters that “the circulation of such video footage was against parliamentary rules at a time when terrorists are looking for opportunities to attack”.

“Giving out such sensitive information and video footage of sensitive areas of Parliament is wrong.”

In the live-stream video that went viral, Mann is seen giving a narration as his vehicle crosses security barricades, while going to Parliament. “I’ll today show you something you would not have seen earlier,” Mann said at the beginning of the video.

Inside the Parliament, he goes into the room where the process of selection of questions for the Zero Hour is done. As he describes the process, a security official is heard telling him not to take photographs. “I’ll not take photo… will maintain confidentiality,” Mann says in his reply.

Security is high at the Parliament complex  and adjacent areas. Special police are deployed at all vantage points when the House is in session. A suicide squad of the Lashkar-e-Tayeba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed had in 2001 carried out attacks on Parliament, killing 14 people, including six policemen.

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