Amid high drama and war of words between the treasury and opposition benches, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker B B L Butail on Wednesday suspended three BJP MLAs for the remainder of the winter session over their “unruly behaviour” and “contempt of the House”.
The session, that began on December 19, ends on December 23.
The Speaker’s ruling came soon after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Agnihotri moved a resolution accusing the trio — Suresh Bhardwaj, Rajeev Bindal and Randhir Sharma — of willfully defying the chair and resorting to behaviour not in consonance with rules, norms and precedents of the House.
Earlier in the day, BJP member Bhardwaj, who is also a member of the Speaker’s panel for presiding officers of the House, had sat on the Speaker’s chair and ‘adjourned’ the House for the day. All BJP MLAs left the House, leaving the treasury benches stunned.
This action took place minutes before Butail had entered the House to resume proceedings. He had earlier adjourned the House for 15 minutes to hold a meeting with MLAs of both the BJP and the ruling Congress to end the stalemate created by protests by the Opposition during the Question Hour.
Moving the resolution against the three MLAs, minister Agnihotri said that by occupying the Speaker’s chair without permission, Bhardwaj has committed contempt of the House. Conduct of the two other members was also “disgraceful” and “against the standards, values and prestige of the Assembly”, he said and urged the Speaker to suspend and debar them for the rest of the session in Dharamshala.
The proposal was put to vote and was adopted by a voice vote (in absence of the Opposition).