Gujarat Speaker Ganpat Vasava on Wednesday suspended all 55 Congress MLAs, who were present in the Assembly, for two days after they raised slogans in support of the Patidar reservation stir and threw lollipops towards the treasury benches and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. The Budget Session of the Assembly ends Thursday.
As soon as the Question Hour began, Congress MLA Raghavji Patel demanded introduction and debate on a private member’s bill providing 20 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS). The Speaker, however, said he had informed the Congress members previous evening that the matter could not be taken up during the Question Hour.
Immediately, Congress MLAs, who had come prepared to raise the issue, donned white caps on which it was written “Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar”. They also displayed posters with slogans like “Hardik ne Jail, Anar ne Mahel (Hardik in jail, Anar in Palace)”.
The Speaker tried to bring the situation under control, but the Congress MLAs did not respond to him and hurled lollipops at the treasury benches which fell near the seats of the CM and the other senior ministers. Subsequently, senior minister Nitin Patel moved a proposal to name and suspend for two days the 55 Congress MLAs who were present in the House. The proposal was seconded by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja, following which all the Congress MLAs were suspended by the Speaker.
Following their suspension, the Congress MLAs took a round of the Assembly lobbies, holding banners, and shouted slogans. Later, addressing mediapersons, Raghavji Patel said, “Tomorrow will be the last day of the Assembly and, therefore, we demanded that our private member bill to introduce 20% reservation for economically weaker sections be presented in the House. However, our demand was not granted by the Speaker and we’re suspended till the end of the Session.” Later, in a press statement, Raghavji was quoted as saying that Congress was in support of the quota stir and also wanted withdrawal of criminal cases, including sedition charges, against Patidar youths.