New Delhi, July 22 | A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court by 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra, challenging their suspension from the Assembly on July 5 for one year for “abusing’ and misbehaving” with presiding officer, Bhaskar Jadhav.
The suspended MLAs are: Girish Mahajan, Jaykumar Rawal, Ashish Shelar, Atul Bhatkalkar, Yogesh Sagar, Parag Alvani, Ram Satpute, Sanjay Kute, Abhimanyu Pawar, Narayan Kuche, Shirish Pimple, and Kirtikumar Bagadia.
Terming the action of suspension “motivated and mala fide”, the plea argued that all the 12 were at different places and some of them were not in the chamber, and also some of them were not in the well of the house, and “were merely spectators”. The MLAs also argued that heated exchanges between the ruling party and Opposition forms the essence of democracy.
The MLAs have contended the presiding officer ought to have granted an opportunity to them to offer their explanation and the suspension for one year was highly disproportionate.
The chaos began when senior NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbul stood up to introduce a resolution in the Assembly seeking the release of empirical data on the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) by the Centre for providing political reservation to the community in the local bodies in the state.
Among the legislators suspended for one year include at least three former ministers, and after the suspension, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis led a noisy walkout. Fadnavis raised objections saying the government did not follow the Supreme Court directions for 15 months which led to the scrapping of the political reservations for the OBCs.
Outside the House, there were heated exchanges between BJP and Shiv Sena members at the chamber of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, while Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke with Jadhav to get details of the sequence of events.
Later, Fadnavis contended that the statements of misbehaviour were “partial” and while he may be aggressive, he never compromised on parliamentary ethics, and expressed his readiness to face any punishment if the allegations of Sena members that he made uncharitable remarks were proven true.