The Maharashtra government on Thursday suspended five legislators of the opposition Shiv Sena for one year for alleged misconduct during the proceedings of the Assembly.
Those suspended are Sanjay Rathod, Ashish Jaiswal, Abhijeet Adsul, Sharad Patil and Ravindra Waikar. Rathod was yesterday suspended for the ongoing Winter Session.
On the heels of disruption in Parliament proceedings by Opposition parties over their demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the Congress-NCP government in the state decided not to entertain similar moves from the Opposition during the session, currently under way in Nagpur.
Yesterday, the first day the session, Rathod was suspended for taking away the mace placed before the Assembly speaker, while making angry demands for adequate compensation to farmers affected by the recent untimely rains in the state.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his deputy Ajit Pawar have asked Congress and NCP legislators to counter the Opposition’s ‘disruptive tactics’ on the floor of the House. They indicated that they meant business and would not tolerate such disruption in the legislature.
The government also made it clear that it was ready for any discussion on matters relating to the compensation to be paid to the affected farmers or the scams over Adarsh housing or Lavasa hill city development.
Other Opposition parties such as the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which has 13 members in the assembly, and Peasants and Workers Party with two members toed the government line and pressed for a discussion.
Despite a few adjournments, the government remained firm on its move not to suspend question hours to accommodate the Opposition’s request for a compensation package. Instead, the government said it was prepared to face the Opposition through a discussion permissible under any rule of the state legislature.
A legislator of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which forms the Opposition alliance with the Shiv Sena, told Business Standard on the condition of anonymity: “Our leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse, who has yet to recover from the shock after his son and a BJP candidate lost to NCP rebel from Jalgaon in the state council election, should not hold alliance to a ransom. This is a large-scale view prevailing in the BJP and its electoral ally Shiv Sena. A large number of Shiv Sena legislators wanted to take up the farmers’ issues with the government through discussion.”
State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil said: “There was unanimity among the ruling Congress-NCP legislators that such misconduct should not be tolerated and, thus, the decision was taken to suspend five Shiv Sena members for a year.” The Congress-NCP government had suspended four MNS legislators in November last year for their alleged misconduct in the assembly. These legislators had allegedly manhandled Samajwadi Party legislator Abu Azmi. However, the government revoked their suspension in the monsoon session after MNS supported the Congress-NCP combine in the election to the state council.