Maharashtra: BJP catches Shiv Sena unaware on suspension of Congress, NCP MLAs

The suspension came after Maharashtra's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat, moved a resolution on Wednesday morning as soon as proceedings in the house began.

Shouting slogans, protesting with banners and creating a ruckus in the House proved dear for 19 of Maharashtra's Members of the Legislative Assembly.

In the past, Maharashtra assembly MLAs have been suspended in the past for creating ruckus during budget speech.

Shiv Sena deputy leader in Assembly, Vijay Awati said that the party was against the suspension of legislators but it did not appreciate their behaviour in the House. Bapat also recommended that during the suspension period, these MLAs should not be allowed to enter the Mumbai and Nagpur assembly premises.

Maharashtra finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who on 18 March read out the budget amid an unprecedented chaos in the House, reminded the Congress and the NCP that their government had taken a similar action against opposition legislators three years ago.

"The MLAs were suspended as they made a bonfire of budget copies outside the legislature terming the budget as "directionless", which would push the state into a financial crisis". Some members had even raised banners inside the house, while some burnt copies of Budget outside the house in Vidhan Bhawan campus.

Opposition leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Jayant Patil alleged that the action was taken because the Bharatiya Janata Party government was afraid of a defeat on the floor of the assembly as the opposition parties were planning to raise the issue of farm loan waiver during the discussion on Budget. "All of them were demanding loan waiver to the farmers". "The suspension has been recommended well within the constitutional norms and to maintain the dignity of the House". "The MLAs were protesting for farmers and as a party we stand with farmers".

Though Speaker Haribhau Bagade called the rival groups for talks, which was also attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the meeting failed to defuse the situation. The Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde reiterated that the aggression on crop loan waiver shall not be mellowed at any cost. "This is nothing but cheating the farmers", Munde said.

  • Joanne Flowers