Mumbai: As many as twelve BJP MLAs were suspended from the Maharashtra legislative assembly for one year after the state government accused them of “abusing” and “misbehaving” with the speaker in the chair, Bhaskar Jadhav, on Monday. However, the leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, who was allegedly present during the ruckus, insisted that these are “false allegations”.
“These are false allegations. A story is being created… no one from the BJP abused,” Mr Fadnavis told the media. “For OBC (Other Backward Castes) reservations, we are ready to sacrifice more than 12 MLAs,” he added, referring to one of the key issues that his party is set to highlight during this session.
The Opposition had created uproar in the House over the OBC issue today and alleged that Speaker-in-Chair Bhaskar Jadhav did not give them enough time to speak.
The matter escalated after the House was adjourned.
“The Opposition leaders came to my cabin and abused me using unparliamentary language in front of Devendra Fadnavis and senior leader Chandrakant Patil. Some leaders even manhandled me,” Mr Jadhav told the media.
The 12 suspended BJP MLAs are Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkalkar, Parag Alavni, Harish Pimpale, Ram Satpute, Vijay Kumar Rawal, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche and Kirtikumar Bangdia. During the period of suspension, the 12 legislators will not be allowed to enter the Legislature premises in Mumbai and Nagpur.
Later, Nawab Malik, a leader of Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, posted a video on Twitter, commenting “This was how it all started”.
— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) July 5, 2021
While, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar refuted the allegations, saying: “This Thackeray government is acting like Taliban. I condemn the action. Neither me nor any other MLAs abused Bhaskar Jadhav.”
“None of the BJP members used abuses in the cabin. I even apologized to him but despite that they suspended,” he added.
Notably, the motion to suspend the MLAs was moved by state Parliamentary affairs minister Anil Parab and passed by a voice vote.
Objecting to the decision, BJP members, led by Devendra Fadnavis, said the opposition would 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.
The assembly has to pick a new Speaker as former Speaker Nana Patole resigned and taken over the post of the state Congress president. The BJP wants its own candidate for the post, though the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has the numbers.
The Congress was given the Speaker’s post in a power-sharing arrangement when the alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress formed the government in November 2019.