Four Jharkhand legislators – three from JMM and one from Congress– were suspended from the Jharkhand assembly on Thursday till March 31, 2017 for their misconduct during House proceedings of the winter session in November last year.
The legislators Amit Mahto, Sashi Bhushan Samad, and Paulus Surin of JMM and Irfan Ansari of Congress have been debarred from attending the ongoing budget session and other House activities till March 31. Their salaries will be withheld till the suspension period gets over. It’s the first time in the history of Jharkhand assembly that legislators have been suspended.
On November 23 last year when the Jharkhand assembly passed the amendment bills of the Chhotanagpur and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Acts--for the Jharkhand tribals the two acts are custodians the their land rights--JMM and Congress legislators had created uproar in the well of the house. They tore the amendment bills, stood up on the tables, uprooted the chairs and mikes and hurled a chair at the speaker as well. The protests later spilled on to the streets of Jharkhand as the opposition parties unitedly imposed Jharkhand bandh on November 25 followed by series of other protests.
The house took the incident seriously and referred to the ethics committee to probe. The committee report was tabled in the house today and moved through a motion. Members through voice vote agreed on suspension of the four law makers.
The ethics committee headed by BJP legislator Satyendra Nath Tiwary had recommended suspension of the four above named legislators as they took lead in creating ruckus in the house that day.
The ethics committee comprised Shiv Shankar Oraon, Ram Kumar Pahan, Harekrishna Singh of BJP and Devendra Singh of Congress.
Opposition legislators protesting the suspension again came into the well opposing the motion. Speaker Dinesh Oraon announced the outcome of the motion thereafter amidst uproars.
Leader of Opposition and ex-CM Hemant Soren accompanied by few other party legislators was in Dumka to attend the funeral of party colleague and legislator, Anil Murmu, who died on Tuesday when the suspensions were announced.
JMM general secretary and spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said the legislators could not be held under misconduct. He said, “The marshals deputed in the House were outsiders and our MLAs were put under house arrest on November 23. We won’t bow down under pressure and our agitations against the amendments will continue.”
JMM leaders have called a meeting in the evening to chalk out their further course of action. Hemant is likely to return by then. The meeting is also likely to discuss floor strategies in the remaining days of the budget session that will conclude on February 7.