Congress Sonipat MLA Surender PanwarResigns Over “Threat Call”, Then A U-Turn

Chandigarh: Main opposition Congress’ Sonipat MLA Surender Panwar, who recently claimed receiving threat calls, sent his resignation to the assembly Speaker, but has withdrawn it after five days.

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta told reporters Monday evening that Mr Panwar had called him on July 14 to inform him that he had sent his resignation. Speaker Gupta said he had received Mr Panwar’s resignation through an email, on WhatsApp and later in a signed letter.

“When I asked him the reason, he said it was due to personal and family reasons,” the Speaker said.

Mr Gupta said the MLA had told him that he will meet him personally.

Accompanied by several Congress MLAs including Geeta Bhukkal, Varun Chaudhary, Jagbir Malik, Neeraj Sharma, and Mr Panwar met the Speaker on Monday and submitted a letter seeking to withdraw his resignation.

“We will consider it and take legal opinion on this and take a decision accordingly,” said the Speaker.

Asked why he had resigned, Mr Panwar told reporters it was due to personal reasons and then added he was feeling pressure after his family also started getting threats.

“I sent it (the resignation) through an e-mail… Speaker Sahab told me to come and meet him personally. I have withdrawn it (resignation) now. The Speaker assured me as well the other MLAs that their security will be ensured and the culprits will be caught,” said Mr Panwar.

“If anyone gets threat that his son will be eliminated, you can understand the pressure,” Mr Panwar said.

“But I am satisfied now,” he said, adding the Speaker has given the assurance that it will be ensured the MLAs get foolproof security.

On the threats received in recent weeks by some MLAs, the Speaker said, “It is a serious issue. I think the government should take cognisance and ensure a foolproof security of the legislators. It will be ensured that MLAs get foolproof security”.

Last Wednesday, a delegation of Haryana Congress MLAs had met Governor Bandaru Dattatreya here and submitted a memorandum to him expressing concern over “deteriorating” law and order in the state and raised other issues.

Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda had alleged that the government is failing to provide security to the public and public representatives.

They told the Governor that the situation has become so “bad” that ransom is being demanded from the legislators and they are getting death threats.

Taking note of threats received by some MLAs in Haryana, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had on Wednesday convened a meeting of senior officers and directed them to take immediate and strict action in the matter.

While one MLA who received a threat call is from the BJP, the remaining four are from main opposition Congress and most calls pertain to extortion threats made over mobile phones of the legislators from unknown numbers.

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta had a week ago held a meeting with the police brass and it was decided that the MLAs will be protected by four to five additional security personnel.  Gupta had written to the chief minister recently demanding to increase the security of the MLAs who received threat calls.

Home Minister Anil Vij had earlier said the matter has been handed over to the special task force for further investigation and he is daily monitoring the developments connected with the probe.

The Congress has 31 MLAs in the 90-member State Assembly. Kuldeep Bishnoi, who had last month cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls, had been expelled from all party positions.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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