MLAs come to blows in Gujarat Assembly, Congressman suspended for session

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Gandhinagar, March 14 (IANS) The Gujarat Assembly witnessed yet another high-voltage drama as members came to blows on Wednesday over a sought-for discussion on the death of two children in Asaram Ashram at Sabarmati. This led to suspension of Congress MLA Pratap Dudhat for the entire term.

Speaker Rajendra Trivedi adjourned the House shortly after Question Hour following disruptions as Congress MLA Vikram Madam sought to raise a point of order over the death of two children in the Ashram, even as Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Pradeepsinh Jadeja wanted a discussion on wastage of time in the House.

Madam wanted to know whether the government intended to table the report of the commission entrusted to investigate the unfortunate incident of 2008. But the Speaker ruled that such points of order could not be raised.

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Another Congress MLA Ambrish Der joined Madam and started questioning the Speaker’s ruling on the mater. As, one by one, other Congress MLAs also started asking the same question of the Speaker, chaos prevailed in the House and the atmosphere became tense.

Apparently agitated over something told to him by BJP MLA Jagdish Panchal, Dudhat rushed from his place towards the treasury benches, grabbed a microphone from the desk and threw it towards Jagdish Panchal. Fortunately, the microphone missed Panchal.

Dudhat’s action created a furore in the House as almost everybody got agitated and started shouting. This forced the Speaker to adjourn the House for 10 minutes, which was later extended till 2.30 p.m.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel later told the media: “This is a shameful incident which has never happened in the history of Gujarat Assembly. Misdoings of Congress MLAs Vikram Madam, Pratap Dudhat and Ambrish Der have been recorded by the CCTV cameras in the House and we are going to request the Speaker to make it accessible to the media.

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“We are also going to request the Speaker to take strict action against the violent behaviour by the three opposition members. None of our MLAs were such violent or used any foul language.”

However, Dudhat said: “The BJP is trying to shift the people’s attention from public issues like the death of children in Asaram Ashram. We, as opposition, have every right to know about such public issues. But our voices are being gagged.

“For the last six to seven days, BJP MLA Jagdish Panchal has been uttering bad words and using foul language against me in the House. Today also, he spoke something bad about my mother which infuriated me and, in a spate of anger, I rushed towards him.”

Later, the Speaker suspended Dudhat for the entire Budget Session of the Assembly.

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