January 29, 2022 12:52:00 am
The Supreme Court’s order quashing the Maharashtra Assembly resolution suspending 12 BJP MLAs is yet another chapter in the ongoing feud between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and the Opposition BJP.
Both parties are now looking to use the verdict as a leverage to up the ante against each other in the run up to the various local body elections, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which are expected to be held in the next few months.
MVA leaders claimed that the decision is not a setback for the government, as the decision to suspend the legislators was taken by the state Assembly and not the government. “This decision was not made by the Maharashtra government but was made by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. The final decision on this will be taken by the Speaker after studying the rights of the legislature and orders of the SC,” NCP Minister Nawab Malik said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Sena leader Anil Parab said the MLAs were suspended within the framework of the law. He added that the decision to revoke the suspension is likely to have an impact on all legislative assemblies and would be a signal to legislators to indulge in reckless behavior, as they would have no fear of censure.
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“The SC decision may be a landmark but will have to see its consequences across the country. Also, the SC order may lead to having no fear in the minds of the legislators who create ruckus in the House as the maximum suspension could be for six months,” Parab said.
The Congress was a bit more circumspect. State party president Nana Patole said that care needs to be taken to ensure that the judiciary and legislature are not in conflict. “The judiciary and legislature have separate rights. Care needs to be taken to avoid any tussle between the two.”
Meanwhile, BJP legislators who were suspended welcomed the SC decision.
“The SC judgment is a slap on the MVA government. The suspension was an act of vendetta by the government. They wanted to keep us away from the elections that were to be held for the Speaker’s post. The order to keep us out of the Assembly for a year, meaning we could not raise the issues affecting our constituency, was unjust. They could have suspended us for one session. The SC judgment is fair and has undone the wrong that was done to us,” said MLA Girish Mahajan, one of the suspended MLAs said.
Ashish Shelar, another BJP MLA who was suspended, said, “The MVA government hopefully should take lessons from the court strictures. Its dictatorial style of governance will not withstand legal and constitutional validity.”
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