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Table as speaker’s podium, stairs as MLAs’ seats: BJP holds mock assembly on Maharashtra Vidhan Bhawan premises

On Monday, the state government had dismissed 12 BJP legislators for alleged misconduct in the speaker’s chamber.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: July 6, 2021 10:39:17 pm
Former Speaker Haribhau Bagde delivers a speech during the mock Assembly session staged by the BJP on Tuesday.

To protest against the suspension of 12 of its MLAs, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday held a “counter assembly” on the Vidhan Bhawan premises.

Led by leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis, the members squatted on the staircase of the Vidhan Bhawan, waved placards and raised slogans on a loudspeaker against CM Uddhav Thackeray-led government even as they boycotted the session taking place inside the assembly and the council. The parallel session continued for five hours.

BJP MLA Kalidas Kolamkar was “appointed” as the speaker of the mock assembly, which saw a makeshift table doubling up as the speaker’s podium. Seated on the staircase, the members rose to their feet as their names were called and delivered speeches hitting out at the “government’s highhandedness” against the Opposition.

Taking exception to the gathering, speaker Bhaskar Jadhav of the Shiv Sena directed the marshals of the Vidhan Sabha secretariat to seize the loudspeaker from the spot. The media was also asked to leave the area. Undeterred, the Opposition leaders moved to a different location and continued with their gathering.

Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Nawab Malik said, “How can the Opposition hold a mock assembly on Vidhan Bhawan premises?”

Fadnavis, who spoke for almost two hours at the mock assembly, said, “The MVA government has imposed undeclared emergency in Maharashtra…But we will not relent.”

On Monday, the state government had dismissed 12 BJP legislators for alleged misconduct in the speaker’s chamber.

Officers at the Vidhan Bhawan secretariat said, “Protests on the premises is not new but holding a mock assembly session for five hours is unprecedented.”

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