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The Hindu
The Hindu

Jignesh Mevani, 14 Congress MLAs suspended for day amid din in Gujarat Assembly

Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani and 14 legislators of the opposition Congress were suspended for a day from the Gujarat Assembly for unruly behaviour and were forcibly evicted by marshals amid chaotic scenes.

As soon as the proceedings of the two-day Legislative Assembly session began, Leader of Opposition Sukhram Rathva demanded a special half-hour discussion on the issues concerning agitating government employees, farmers, Anganwadi workers and ex-servicemen.

When Speaker Nimaben Acharya refused Mr. Rathva's demand, Mr. Mevani and other MLAs of Congress rushed near the well of the House and started shouting slogans.

They raised placards with slogans "give justice to employees", "give justice to forest staff", and "give justice to ex-servicemen".

"When so many employees of almost all the departments are agitating over their pending issues, why is the BJP not ready to hold a discussion in the House?" asked Deputy Leader of Opposition, Shailesh Parmar, amid continuous sloganeering by his party colleagues.

When Opposition MLAs refused to go back to their seats as directed by the Speaker, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Trivedi proposed suspension of the legislators sitting in the well.

With the majority voice vote, Ms. Acharya suspended Mr. Mevani and 14 other Congress MLAs for the day.

As the MLAs refused to leave the House even after they were suspended, the Speaker called in Assembly sergeants to forcibly evict them.

The marshals moved out most of the suspended MLAs by holding them by their hands. However, some law-markers were physically lifted and carried out.

Following the action, at least 30 other MLAs of Congress staged a walkout minutes after the House met in the afternoon.

The two-day session is the last one before Gujarat goes to polls, expected to be held in the next few months.

Some of the suspended MLAs of Congress include Imran Khedawala, Geniben Thakor, Amrish Der, Puna Gamit, Babu Vaja, Naushad Solanki and Pratap Dudhat.

The majority of Congress MLAs, including those who staged a walkout and those who were evicted, entered the Legislative Assembly after nearly ten minutes to take part in proceedings.

The Speaker objected to the suspended MLAs, including Mr. Mevani and others, returning to the House and directed them to go out.

After her reminder, these MLAs left the House.

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