Maharashtra assembly suspends 19 opposition members till Dec-31
MUMBAI: Maharashtra Speaker Haribhau Bagade on Wednesday suspended 19 opposition legislators till December 31 for creating a ruckus over farm loans on Saturday.
The house, which reassembled after three days, adopted a resolution moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat, seeking suspension of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislators who disrupted Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar's budget speech.
The resolution was adopted with both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and ally Shiv Sena members voting in favour after which the Speaker issued the suspension orders.
On Saturday, Mungantiwar's budget for 2017-18 was presented amid chaos as the combined opposition demanded a complete waiver of farm loans in the state.
The opposition parties greeted the suspension order with protests and said the government resorted to the measure to avoid defeat over a cut motion which requires voting in the house.
Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil accused the government of being insensitive to the farmers' plight and trying to muzzle the opposition voice by resorting to undemocratic measures like suspension.
Among the legislators suspended on Wednesday include nine from the Congress and 10 from NCP and they have been barred from even entering the legislature premises.
They include heavyweights from both parties including Bhaskar Jadhav, Vijay Vaddetiwar, Jitendra Awhad, D.P. Sawant, Abdul Sattar and Avdhoot Tatkare.
They were among the opposition members who raised slogans in the house, carried banners inside the assembly, sang bhajans and later made a bonfire of budget copies.