The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday revoked the suspension of the four Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLAs, who had assaulted the Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi for taking oath in Hindi on November 9, 2009.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Bhaskar Jadhav moved a resolution for revoking the suspension, which was passed by voice vote. The four — Shishir Shinde, Ram Kadam, Ramesh Wanjale and Vasant Gite — were suspended for four years after they tried to prevent Mr. Azmi from taking his oath, which they felt should be taken in Marathi. Mr. Wanjale uprooted the podium in the House.
Mr. Jadhav said he had received a letter from MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar, assuring good behaviour on part of the four members.
However, the revocation did not pass without some barbs directed at the ruling parties by the Opposition.
Leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse (BJP) demanded to know the details of the “package deal” between the MNS and the Congress. Mr. Khadse said he was in favour of the suspension being revoked but was curious to know the deal behind it.
MNS president Raj Thackeray had some time ago said that his party voted for the ruling coalition in the Legislative Council elections last month as a quid pro quo for the revocation of suspension. This was hotly denied by the Congress.
Mr. Khadse raised this issue again in the House on Monday. BJP MLA Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the government was indulging in political blackmail. He had submitted a notice for breach of privilege against the government with details of Mr. Thackeray's press conference.