New Delhi : Under mounting attack over the Parliament video row, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann on Friday said he was ready for any probe after tendering an unconditional apology even as the party rallied behind him, saying BJP was trying to hype up a ‘non-issue’ to deflect attention from attacks on Dalits in Gujarat.
As Mann’s filming of his drive into Parliament building accompanied with a running commentary rocked both houses of Parliament, the MP from Punjab said he had deleted the video from his Facebook wall and that his intention was not to compromise security of the institution.
Defending Mann, AAP said the video did not amount to security breach, and accused the BJP of trying to deflect attention from the issue of attacks on Dalits in Gujarat. Party leader Ashutosh said the Lok Sabha member from Sangrur was only trying to ‘show’ the procedure of asking questions during the Zero Hour. “Adityanath, Sakshi Maharaj, Giriraj Singh are the biggest threat to country’s security and these leaders will add glory to Parliament, while Bhagwant Mann will be booked under NSA? What justice is this? (sic)” AAP leader Sanjay Singh tweeted.
However, party sources said the controversy could have been avoided.
Asked about Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s assertion that ‘appropriate action’ will be taken in the matter termed by her as ‘too serious’, Mann said, “I am ready for any kind of a probe and I will cooperate with that. I have promised to the Speaker that it (the act) will not be repeated in the future. I have also deleted the video from my Facebook wall.”
Mann accused his political opponents of raking up the issue for ‘vested interest’. “I went to Parliament in an authorised car and I did not take any unauthorised person along with me. Political parties are unnecessarily raking up this issue. This is the first time that the Congress and the BJP are together on an issue in Parliament. I have not shown the House of Parliament in the video,” he claimed. “There are several instances where members of the House were charged with hurting its dignity and the matter ended with their apologies,” he added.
When asked if he had made a mistake by making a video on the security of Parliament, Mann said, “I have written in my letter of apology that it was an unintentional (compromising the security of Parliament) act.”
In the nearly 12-minute video that he shared live on Facebook, Mann filmed his vehicle crossing security barricades and him entering Parliament on Thursday. Terming Parliament as the highest temple of democracy, he said his intent was not to ‘dishonour it’. “I have not played with anything (security). I have never and it has never been my intent to compromise the security of Parliament. For asking questions during the Zero Hour, there is a lucky draw and only 20 questions are selected,” he said. —PTI