BJP legislators Ashish Shelar, Parag Alvani, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche, Harish Pimpale, Abhimanyu Pawar, Jaykumar Rawal, Kirtikumar Bhangdia, Girish Mahajan, Ram Satpute and Sanjay Kute were suspended for one year for allegedly using abusive language against the presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav and their irresponsible behaviour in the state assembly. The resolution, which was moved by the Legislative Affairs Minister Anil Parab, was passed by voice vote in the assembly.
The government action came after the scuffle took place between ruling and opposition members and Jadhav was allegedly roughed up by opposition members in the chamber of deputy speaker Narhari Zirval after the house was adjourned amid pandemonium.
Earlier, the house had passed by voice vote the government resolution recommending the Centre to urgently hand over the empirical data on OBCs to the state government. The resolution was moved by the NCP veteran and food and civil supply minister Chhagan Bhujbal who blamed the BJP government at the Centre and the state during 2014-19 for not taking any action to restore OBC reservation in the local bodies. Bhujbal to substantiate his argument read of court ruling and communication and urged opposition to support the resolution.
However, the leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis stood up and said Bhujbal has not given full information and he has left out the relevant information on OBC quota and the status of empirical data. BJP legislators came to well and started shouting slogans. Few legislators Girish Mahajan and Sanjay Kute reached to the space in front of the Speaker’s chair arguing with the presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav that he should allow the opposition leader to speak and the resolution cannot be taken for a vote in this manner. They tried to break the mic in front of Jadhav but it was foiled.
Thereafter, the resolution was passed by voice vote and later Jadhav adjourned the house.
When Jadhav was going towards the deputy speaker’s chamber some BJP legislators tried to gherao him. After Jadhav reached the chamber the verbal duel took place between the two.
After the house reassembled Jadhav narrated what took place in the deputy speaker’s chamber. He claimed he was abused by some BJP legislators and threatened him. ‘’It was the blackest day in the legislative history of Maharashtra. The presiding officer and not me was abused and it should be condemned. I am ready to face if I have used unparliamentary language against opposition members but such irresponsible behaviour and abuses cannot be tolerated and it should not take place in future,’’ said Jadhav.
Parab read out the resolution which was passed by voice vote. However, Fadnavis condemned the government move and announced to boycott the proceedings of the house.
Fadnavis told reporters that the government move was a manufactured one and it was an attempt to silence opposition that was taking up the cause of OBCs. The resolution passed by the government was to bide time as the government was not serious about restoring the 27% political resolution to OBCs ahead of local body elections slated for 2022.
Fadnavis also said the state government’s move to move a resolution recommending the Centre to intervene for the restoration of Maratha quota which was scrapped by the Supreme Court on May 5. He said the state government should first form the state backward classes commission and collect the data which has to be first done by the state government.