12 BJP MLAs suspended from Maharashtra Assembly for 1 year

July 05, 2021 04:03 pm | Updated 05:00 pm IST - Mumbai

Vidhan Bhavan Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in Mumbai. File

Vidhan Bhavan Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in Mumbai. File

Twelve BJP MLAs have been suspended from Maharashtra Assembly for one year for ‘abusing’ and ‘misbehaving’ with the presiding officer in chair, both inside and outside the Assembly.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab presened a resolution to suspend the MLAs and the House passed it on majority vote. The BJP, while boycotting the House, termed it an act to suppress its voice and an attempt to bring down the number of the Opposition.

The MLAs, Dr Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Harish Pimple, Jaikumar Rawal, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche, Bunty Bhangdiya, Parag Alvani and Ram Satpute, will be barred from entering the legislative premises for the next 12 months.

The ruckus

The ruckus inside the Assembly took place as the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government brought a resolution seeking an empirical data on OBCs from the Central government. Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis raised a point of objection before senior Minister Chhagan Bhujbal presented the resolution, claiming the State government did not follow the Supreme Court directions for 15 months, which resulted in the scrapping of political reservation for OBCs.

After allowing Mr. Fadnavis to speak, Sena MLA Bhaskar Jadhav, who was the presiding officer in the Speakers’ chair, directed Mr. Bhujbal to read out the reply and present the resolution. As he denied Mr. Fadnavis an opportunity to reply to Mr. Bhujbal, agitated BJP MLAs rushed in front of his chair and smacked the mike. They also tried to lift the sceptre in front of the Speaker’s chair. The House was adjourned for 10 minutes after the resolution was passed. It was then adjourned three times for 15 minutes and once for 30 minutes.

“When I was inside the Deputy Speaker’s chamber, BJP MLAs rushed inside and started abusing me and circled me. Fadnavis was there and he did not stop them,” said Mr. Jadhav in the Assembly. Only Mr. Shelar later apologised to him twice asking to forget the incident.

Mr. Fadnavis accepted that there were some heated exchange of unsuitable words as the BJP MLAs were angry. “But we apologised later. Suspending Opposition MLAs is an attempt to lessen our numbers, which is an undemocratic act,” he claimed.

The ruling coalition, however, went ahead with the resolution and subsequently all the 12 MLAs were suspended for a year.

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