BJP, Congress in peace mode as Gujarat Assembly session nears end

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Gandhinagar, March 27 (IANS) A day before the culmination of the Gujarat Assembly’s Budget session, the ruling BJP on Tuesday revised its proposal to demand suspension of three Congress MLAs while the opposition party withdrew a no-confidence motion against Speaker Rajendra Trivedi.

Leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani urged his Deputy Shailesh Parmar to withdraw his February 28 no-confidence motion that was backed by almost all Congress MLAs.

Dhanani’s action followed Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s appeal to the house to bring the issue to an amicable settlement.

In the 182-member Assembly, there are 99 BJP lawmakers, 77 of Congress, three independents and three others.

After the no-confidence motion was moved, the Assembly witnessed a ruckus by both the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress members on March 14 when the Speaker suspended Congress MLAs Ambrish Der (Rajula) and Prabhatbhai Dudhat (Savarkundla) for three years and Kalol MLA Baldevji Thakore for one year, which was proposed by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.

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Trivedi had even barred the suspended MLAs from entering the Assembly premises for the period.

After the opposition’s withdrawal of the motion, the Deputy Chief Minister too revised his proposal for suspension of the three Congress MLAs for the ongoing session only.

Proposing the same, Nitin Patel said: “… I had proposed for the suspension of the Congress MLAs, but with regret. Today (Tuesday), after the gesture of opposition leaders and senior MLAs in maintaining the house decorum, I too propose to revise the (duration of) suspension for their MLAs… I requested the Speaker to calm down and be lighthearted.”

Congress leader Paresh Dhanani told the media outside the Assembly: “It is the duty and responsibility of both the ruling party and the opposition to uphold democratic values of the house, and I am glad that we did. Since 1961, rules framed by the house are Gita, Quran or Bible for all those who want to uphold constitutional values. During these years, the precedence is that despite 18 no-confidence proposals passed against the Speaker, these have remained only to the extent of expressing the opposition’s voice. We will continue to uphold democratic values and work together constructively for the state.”

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