Were demanding a debate on water scarcity in Saurashtra-Kutch.
Almost all Congress MLAs were suspended for a day on Tuesday by Speaker Vaju Vala on disciplinary grounds for creating an uproar when their demand for a special debate on water scarcity in Saurashtra-Kutch region during the question hour was turned down.
As the question hour began,Congress Legislative Party leader Shankersinh Vaghela demanded a special debate on the alleged prevailing water crisis in eight districts of the region. However,Vala,citing rules,asked the Opposition to put a request in consent with the ruling party to him.
As Vala ordered to start the question hour,Congress members began shouting slogans and thumping their desks to demand a debate.
But the Congress members kept on shouting slogans like Paani Appo and Shame BJP. They also tore papers related to the question hour and gathered on the floor just opposite to Valas chair.
The Speaker then began suspending each group of Congress members as they came and sat on the floor.
Amreli MLA Paresh Dhanani and a few others,who resisted the order,were lifted up and taken away by marshals.
Only two Congress MLAs,Vaghela and Mohan Rathva,who chose to leave the House on their own,were spared the day-long suspension.
The Speaker held that a special debate could not be allowed during the question hour,which is reserved exclusively for question-answer session. He said the Opposition and the ruling party could jointly put forward a demand for the same.
Somnath Congress MLA Jasu Barad,however,waved a letter claiming a request by him for a special debate was turned down by the Assemblys section officer. The letter,dated March 18,read,This is not an urgent matter. And the concerned minister does not have time to give answer.
Finance Minister and the state government spokesperson,Nitin Patel,said,The same issue has been discussed in detail twice,at time of general budget and during the debate for water supply department budget. Besides,the Congress did not put its demand for a special debate to business committee,which met on Monday to decide proceedings of the House.
939 villages scarcity-hit: minister
Gandhinagar: Around 939 villages in Gujarat are scarcity-affected while nearly 2,979 villages are partially affected in 69 talukas of 10 districts in the state on the ground of poor yield of kharif crops,Revenue Minister Anandi Patel said during question hour in Assembly Tuesday.
The ministers statement comes days after the Union government declared 17 districts in Gujarat drought-affected in reply to a question asked by Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani.
While the Congress-led UPA government has allocated Rs 864.71 crore for drought relief in the state,the Gujarat government has allocated over Rs 1,200 crore for the same for the financial year 2013-2014.
According to Patel,who cited a survey,the affected districts were Kutch,Patan,Banaskantha,Ahmedabad,Rajkot,Jamnagar,Junagadh,Porbandar,Amreli and Bhavnagar.
The Union governments list also included Anand,Bharuch,Kheda,Gandhinagar,Mehsana,Surendranagar and Vadodara as affected districts.