Opposition boycotts assembly proceedings over insult to Rahul Gandhi
On Saturday, the speaker said that the decision on code of conduct for legislators can be taken only after having deliberations with the chairman of the legislative council as it would be applicable to them as well
Mumbai: The Opposition parties on Saturday boycotted the proceedings of the legislative assembly for the entire day demanding action against the ruling legislators for hitting a poster of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with footwear.
It was also the last day of the budget session and speaker Rahul Narwekar had assured his ruling on the matter following a detailed investigation.
On Saturday, the speaker said that the decision on code of conduct for legislators can be taken only after having deliberations with the chairman of the legislative council as it would be applicable to them as well.
To mark their protest, the Opposition legislators entered the House wearing black ribbons. Soon after the proceedings began, they demanded action against the ruling members and later boycotted the proceedings. They held a sit-in protest on the staircase of Vidhan Bhavan building to express their displeasure.
On Thursday, legislators from both the ruling parties—Shiv Sena and BJP—hit a poster of Gandhi with footwear on the Vidhan Bhavan premises over Gandhi’s remarks on V D Savarkar four months ago.
Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat said that such a level of incident never took place on this premises, and they were expecting a decision from the speaker. “National leaders are there in all the parties and we also have chappals. We were ready for action against our MLAs as well if they had done something wrong. We want a decision now,” Thorat insisted.
However, Narwekar chose not to make any comment on action against the ruling members and reiterated bringing a code of conduct for the legislators in the legislature premises after having deliberations with the council chairman.
In the absence of the Opposition parties, the assembly passed a condemnation motion against the BBC’s controversial two-part documentary on Gujarat riots in 2002 and prime minister Narendra Modi. The motion was moved through a private resolution by BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar.
The Speaker took the motion for voting soon after it was moved by Bhatkhalkar. The motion passed in the lower House stated that the documentary is an attempt to create religious conflict in the country and damage the image of the Indian judicial system.
Meanwhile, chief minister Eknath Shinde said that Rahul Gandhi has been continuously insulting Veer Savarkar and this will not be tolerated. He also said that they will not take any action against the ruling legislators.
“What our MLAs did was an appropriate reaction. We will not take any action against our members. Rahul Gandhi will not be able to understand Savarkar’s contribution for the freedom of the country. Gandhi cannot spend even a day in cellular jail,” he said.
He added Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha is according to the law which was passed during Congress rule.
Taking the BJP’s line, Shinde said that Gandhi has insulted the OBC community. “He (Rahul Gandhi) termed the Modi community as thieves and by doing so he has insulted OBCs. He should apologise to the community.”
CM Shinde said that it was because of the BJP and the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the undivided Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray could get its mayor in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation post 2017 elections. “I requested Fadnavis ji to help us in the mayoral election. We were in an alliance with the BJP, which had made all arrangements to assume power in the civic body. It was only because of Fadnavis ji, the Sena could elect its mayor,” he said.
Shinde said that Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had helped Sena in electing mayor in Thane Municipal Corporation in 2012. “But the party leadership (Thackeray) did not remain grateful to both of them just for the sake of power. They (Thackeray) claim that we overturned the government when he was sick, but it is not true. In fact, they poached six corporators of MNS in 2019 when Raj Thackeray’s son was unwell,” he said, while replying to the concluding week motion in the legislative assembly.