Mumbai: Pandemonium marked the two-day monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislature on Monday. Twelve legislators of BJP were suspended for a year for abusing and manhandling Presiding Officer Bhaskar Jadhav and also for their irresponsible behaviour in the Speaker’s chamber. The 12 suspended members are: Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawat, Narayan Kuche, Ram Satpute and Bunty Bhangdia.
Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, who was present as the ruckus unfolded, insisted that these were ‘false allegations’ and the action was manufactured by crafting a story. He said that Jadhav’s account of the incident to the House was one-sided.
However, Jadhav sought a probe into the allegation that some Shiv Sena members and he himself had made uncharitable remarks and said he was ready to face any punishment if it was proven true.
Legislative Affairs Minister Anil Parab moved the motion to suspend the 12 legislators and it was passed with a voice vote. Parab said, during the period of suspension, the 12 legislators would not be allowed to enter the premises of the legislature in Mumbai and Nagpur.
In protest, BJP legislators led by Fadnavis said the opposition would boycott the proceedings and they staged a walkout. “This is a false allegation and an attempt to reduce the numbers of opposition benches, because we exposed the government’s falsehood on the OBC quota in local bodies,” Fadnavis said.
Fadnavis clarified that no one from the BJP had been abusive, avowing, “For OBC reservations, we are ready to face suspension of all 106 MLAs.”
Earlier, Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik blamed the BJP for manhandling and roughing up Jadhav and the state assembly was adjourned four times over the issue.
After the House reassembled, Malik and Shiv Sena member Sunil Prabhu demanded that action be taken against the opposition members for their behaviour with Jadhav.
“What happened in your chamber was not right,” Malik said, addressing Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal.
Zirwal then adjourned the House for 15 minutes. Later, Presiding Officer Dilip Bankar adjourned the House for another 15 minutes and again for 30 minutes.
Thereafter, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called Jadhav to his chamber seeking to know what had happened.
Jadhav, who was in the chair, said “Today is a black day for me. Abusive words were directed at me. Some people are saying I made uncharitable remarks. Let there be a probe into it after checking the CCTV footage. If I have used any inappropriate language, I am ready to face any punishment.”
Later, the suspended MLAs met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan in the evening and sought his intervention and complained against the MVA government for ‘trampling upon democracy’. Senior legislator Ashish Shelar submitted a memorandum saying the allegations of misbehaviour with the presiding officer were ‘wrong’.