Maha reinstates suspended MNS MLAs
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today revoked the suspension of four MNS legislators, who had allegedly assaulted Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi for defying their leader Raj Thackeray's diktat of taking oath as members in Marathi.
The state's parliamentary affairs minister, Bhaskar Jadhav, moved the resolution seeking revocation of the four year suspension. The House passed the resolution by a voice vote.
The four MNS MLAs Shishir Shinde, Ram Kadam, Ramesh Wanjale and Vasant Gite were suspended from the membership of the House for a period of four years on November 9, 2009 for assaulting Azmi when he was taking oath as member in Hindi.
Jadhav said MNS group leader Bala Nandgaonkar had given a letter apologising for the incident and promised good behaviour by the four MLAs.
Nandgaonkar has assured members that such an incident which lowers the dignity of the House will not happen again, he said.
Leader of opposition Eknath Khadse demanded that the government explain the "package deal" that took place between the MNS and the government for facilitating revocation of the suspension.
Khadse was joined by BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar, who alleged that the government was indulging in "political blackmailing".
Mungantiwar said he had submitted a notice of breach of privilege against the government 10 days ago along with a CD comprising Thackeray's statement that he had to take certain decisions to ensure that the suspension of his MLAs was lifted.
Speaker Dilip Walse Patil said the notice was being processed and he would take a decision on whether it could be moved on the floor of the House later.
Chief minister Ashok Chavan, while rejecting charge of political blackmailing, said the opposition was levelling allegations.
Echoing Chavan's statement, parliamentary affairs minister Harshvardhan Patil denied reports that the Thackeray-led party had voted for the ruling coalition in last month's biennial Legislative Council polls and pointed out that they were held through secret ballot.
"Nobody knows who voted for whom," he said and demanded that the allegation of political blackmail levelled by the BJP be removed from the records.
Azmi, who wanted to speak on the issue, was not allowed permission by the Chair following which he and his SP colleagues staged a walkout.
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