Twelve BJP MLAs were on Monday suspended for the period of one year from Maharashtra assembly for allegedly creating ruckus in ongoing monsoon session of the House and “misbehaving" with Speaker in-chair Bhaskar Jadhav. The motion to suspend the MLAs was moved by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab and passed by a voice vote.
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. To protest against the decision, BJP members led by Devendra Fadnavis, said the Opposition will boycott the House proceedings.
“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, adding that the BJP members had not abused the presiding officer.
“It was Shiv Sena MLAs who used abusive words. I brought our MLAs out of the Speaker’s chamber," the Leader of Opposition in the House said. Ashish Shelar apologised and the matter ended, the former chief minister said, claiming that what Jadhav said was a “one-sided" account.
Speaking on the same, suspended BJP MLA, Atul Bhatkhalkar, said, “I wasn’t even there but yet I have been named because I criticise the government all the time. This is a black day, a shameful day in democracy today. This is an effort to muzzle our voice. They are scared."
Later, the suspended MLAs met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan in the evening, seeking his intervention and complained against the MVA government for “trampling upon democracy".
The MLAs led by Ashish Shelar, chief whip of the BJP in the state legislature, submitted a memorandum denying “wrong" allegations of misbehaviour with the presiding officer.
“Several issues in the OBC resolution moved in the Assembly were not going to help in restoring the political quota for the community. We wanted to speak on the issue but we were not allowed," it said.
Calling it a “conspiracy" by Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government, another BJP MLA Ram Kadam said, “They were scared that they would have been embarrassed in front of the whole country if their own MLAs would have done cross voting during Speaker election. That is why this is a conspiracy to reduce our numbers in the assembly."
Earlier, NCP leader and minister Nawab Malik accused the BJP members of misbehaving with Bhaskar Jadhav and the state Assembly was adjourned four times over the issue.
(with inputs from PTI)