Pandemonium over MVA resolution to seek empirical data on OBCs from centre
Geetanjali Minhas | July 5, 2021 | Mumbai
Twelve BJP MLAs were suspended from the Maharashtra assembly on Monday, allegedly after they abused, misbehaved and manhandled presiding officer, Shiv Sena MLA Bhaskar Jadhav, in the Deputy Speaker's chamber.
Legislators Ashish Shelar, Parag Alvani, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche, Harish Pimpale, Abhimanyu Pawar, Jaykumar Rawal, Kirti Kumar Bhangdia, Girish Mahajan, Ram Satpute and Sanjay Kute were suspended for one year for allegedly using abusive language against the presiding officer Jadhav and for irresponsible behaviour during the first day of the monsoon session in the state assembly. A resolution for their suspension moved by state parliamentary affairs minister Anil Parab was passed by a voice vote.
The 12 legislators will not be allowed to enter the legislature premises in Mumbai and Nagpur during the period of suspension.
The fracas inside the assembly reportedly took place when the tri-party Maha Vikas Aghadi government brought in a resolution seeking an empirical data on other backward classes (OBCs) from the central govt. Food and civil supplies minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Leader of opposition and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had failed to acquire the data. At this point Fadnavis raised objection claiming the state government did not follow Supreme Court directions for 15 months and kept postponing the matter which resulted in scrapping of political reservations for OBCs. He said the resolution will not be of any use now. After allowing Fadnavis to speak, Jadhav directed Bhujbal to read out the reply and present the resolution. At this point in time agitated BJP MLAs rushed in front of his chair, smacked the mic and attempted to lift the sceptre in front of the speaker's chair. The house was adjourned for 10 mins after the resolution was passed. Later it was adjourned three times for 15 minutes and once for 30 minutes.
Later narrating the incident to the assembly, Jadhav said when he was inside the deputy speaker's chamber, the BJP MLAs rushed inside and gheraoed him. He said even though Fadnavis was there he did not stop them. Only Shelar apologised to him twice asking to forget the incident.
"I have never seen such behaviour in my entire legislative career of 36 years . The legislators never hold their differences over an issue out of the House.” he said.
Fadnavis said that as the MLAs had already apologised to the presiding officer, stern action should not be taken and added that their doubts have been proved right as they have exposed the MVA govt on OBC issues and false allegations have been made against the BJP MLAs. He said that for OBC reservation even if their 106 MLAs are suspended for all five years they will continue to fight for the issues. Shelar said the Shiv Sena was resorting to such methods as it does not have courage to fight them.
NCP leader Nawab Mallik said the BJP’s intimidation and fighting in the assembly is dangerous to democracy and it will not tolerate bullying. Mallik said that that people of Maharashtra have given majority to three parties and this govt is working on the basis of majority. Calling the incident unprecedented he accused Fadnavis of leading the ruckus in assembly said that bullying will not be tolerated.
The assembly has to elect a new speaker as former speaker Nana Patole has resigned and since taken over as the state Congress president.
The suspended MLAs later met governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan.
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