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The Hindu
The Hindu

Gujarat Assembly | Congress MLAs stage walkout to protest suspension of senior legislator

Opposition Congress staged a walkout in the Gujarat Assembly on March 4 after senior party legislator Punja Vansh was suspended for seven days for using unparliamentary words against Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi.

Though Mr. Vansh had tendered an apology and withdrew his words as directed by Speaker Nimaben Acharya, the ruling BJP insisted on his suspension for using a derogatory word for the Minister during the Question Hour.

Not satisfied with the replies given by State Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel during the question hour, Congress MLA Naushad Solanki sat on the floor of the House.

Following this, Mr. Sanghavi had asked him not to indulge in such hooliganism and stated that the House was not a Congress party office.

Angered by the remark, senior MLA Vansh asked Mr. Sanghavi to refrain from using such language and further accused the Minister of using "tapori" language in the House, which the BJP found derogatory and unparliamentary.

Comparing the State Home Minister with a "tapori" (vagabond) led to a huge uproar in the House. As directed by the Speaker, Mr. Vansh later apologised and withdrew his remarks.

After the question hour, chief whip Pankaj Desai brought a motion to suspend Mr. Vansh for seven days for using unparliamentary words. Education Minister Jitu Vaghani supported the BJP government's motion, while Deputy Leader of Opposition Shailesh Parmar objected to it and urged the treasury Bench to withdraw the motion, as Mr. Vansh had already apologised as directed by the Speaker.

However, senior BJP MLAs Nitin Patel and Pradipsinh Jadeja supported the proposal, alleging that the Congress MLAs had the habit of using such words in the House and they must not be allowed to get away by merely tendering an apology. The Speaker supported the BJP's views, saying the dignity of the House must not be violated.

After the motion to suspend Mr. Vansh for seven days got cleared through voice vote, all the 50-odd Congress MLAs walked out of the House and did not return till the end of the day's session as a mark of protest.

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