Pro-tem speaker Jeeva Pandu Gavit on Tuesday warned BJP legislators against raising slogans in support of statehood for Vidarbha while taking oath, saying it could even attract suspension. However, he later said no such action would be taken.
Shiv Sena had written to Gavit on Monday, seeking action against the MLAs who chanted ‘Jai Vidarbha’ after taking oath in the Assembly. The Sena claimed it was against a rule laid down in an earlier ruling given in the legislative council. Several BJP legislators from Vidarbha had shouted slogans advocating a separate state for the region. Gavit said such slogans are not part of the given format of the oath. He added such separatist acts would not be tolerated.
Even after the warning, however, BJP MLA from Katol Ashish Deshmukh repeated the slogan, leading to a roar of protest from Sena legislators.
Gavit, who is seven-time MLA from Kalwan, then said the member repeating the act would attract suspension for the duration of the ongoing session.
However, he changed his ruling after some time and clarified that while chanting slogans in favour of any region does not amount to separatism, any such reference would be removed from the official records. He also clarified that no suspension would be initiated for the chanting of such slogans.