Mumbai, Nov 12:
Five Congress MLAs were suspended for two years for allegedly pushing around Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao while protesting against the manner in which the BJP government won the vote of confidence, here Wednesday.
A committee, headed by Speaker Haribhau Bagde, will also probe the unprecedented incident in which the suspended legislators and other legislators were accused of blocking the governor’s vehicle, preventing him from entering the Vidhan Bhavan for addressing a joint sitting of the Maharashtra Legislature and allegedly pushing him around.
The issue was raised by Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse who demanded that the 12 Congress legislators involved in the unruly incident must apologise or they should be suspended immediately.
Later, the Speaker summoned leaders of Congress and Shiv Sena for a meeting where Congress house leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil tendered an apology saying whatever happened was not intentional.
The Speaker appointed a committee to probe the incident and suspended five Congress legislators rejecting appeals by Leader of Opposition Eknath Shinde and senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Chhagan Bhujbal to desist from taking action.
The suspended Congress MLAs are Rahul Bondre, Jaikumar Gore, Amar Kale, Abdul Sattar and Virendra Jagtap.
Denying that they had pushed around the governor, one of the suspended MLAs, Abdul Sattar told media persons that the action against them was rooted in their demand questioning the manner in which the Devendra Fadnavis government pushed through its vote of confidence.
“Everybody saw what happened in full public view… We wanted a meeting with the governor which was not allowed… We were protesting in a democratic manner outside as we were not allowed our say inside the assembly for polling in the confidence vote… We have not demeaned the governor’s office in any manner… We shall present our case before the probe committee and also campaign against the minority government all over the state,” said Sattar.
BJP leaders termed the blockade of the governor’s vehicle and the subsequent pushing around of Governor Rao as “unprecedented in the state’s history” while Congress leaders said the BJP was drunk with the arrogance of power in suspending the five legislators.