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Thursday, April 15, 2021

‘Not a playground’: Speaker evicts Congress MLA from Gujarat Assembly for wearing T-shirt

While the Speaker insisted that MLAs maintain decorum and refrain from wearing T-shirt in the House, the opposition Congress opposed his decision, claiming there was no rule prohibiting members from wearing specific clothes while attending the House proceedings.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
Updated: March 15, 2021 10:44:23 pm
Vimal Chudasama, Gujarat AssemblyGujarat Congress MLA Vimal Chudasama

Congress MLA from Somnath constituency Vimal Chudasama was Monday evicted from Gujarat Assembly by sergeants on the orders of Speaker Rajendra Trivedi for coming to the House wearing a T-shirt.

The Speaker maintained that decorum of the House was important and one cannot come there wearing just about anything even as some Congress MLAs opposed the decision claiming there was no rule prohibiting members from wearing specific clothes while attending the House proceedings.

A first-time MLA and a corporator in Chorwad municipality, Chudasama (40) had come wearing blue jeans and black T-shirt with ‘free spirit’ printed on it. The issue had cropped up immediately after the Question Hour when the Speaker gave instructions to the MLAs on not to come to the House wearing a jersey.

“There was an instruction that one should not come to House wearing a jersey. Despite that one MLA has come wearing the same. As the Question Hour period is very precious, I did not comment then. Two minutes ago, that MLA has gone out of the House… I repeat that decorum of the House is a different thing. We do not know what you wear outside. Tomorrow, you will come wearing a baniyan or anything that you like. It cannot be allowed,” Trivedi said.

Chudasama was not present in the House at the time.

After this, the House moved on to the next topic of the day’s business – a notice by Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani on a matter of urgent public interest. When Chudasama entered the House, the Speaker asked the Congress MLA to come back after wearing a “shirt, kurta, coat”.

Chudasama countered saying that there is no rule that mandated a member to wear or not to wear particular clothes in the House, but Trivedi insisted on a proper dress code for MLAs. “I will not listen to you until you go and change your dress,” he said.

As senior Congress leaders Paresh Dhanani and Shailesh Parmar stood up to defend Chudasama, Trivedi asked them to give instructions to Chudasama, since he was insulting the order of the Speaker. To this, Chudasama responded: “People of Somnath have given me certificate.”

The Speaker said he did not need Chudasama’s certificate. “Because you are an MLA, you cannot come to the House in any manner, in any clothes. This is not a playground. You are not on a vacation. There is a protocol of uniform.”
The Speaker directed the sergeants to evict Chudasama from the House, who then escorted the opposition MLA out of the House.

As Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Pradeepsinh Jadeja moved a proposal to suspend Chudasama from the House for three days for insulting the Speaker’s order, leader of opposition Dhanani came to Chudasama’s defence saying there is no such rule about dress code. Some Congress MLAs also shouted slogans in support of the Somnath MLA.

Trying to calm the situation, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, also the leader of the House, said, “This is a matter of pride for all of us… There is a need of having some accepted dress code for the decorum of the House. Two days ago, Vimalbhai was told (not to wear T-shirt in the House). Despite that, he has come wearing (a T-shirt).”

The CM urged Dhanani to give instructions to Chudasama to go and wear kurta-pyjama, pant-shirt, or whatever was convenient. “Once in the context of Jayeshbhai (Radadiya, who is a minister in the Rupani government), too, the Speaker had pointed out. And he (Radadiya) had gone home and come back wearing a kurta. There is no need to drag the subject. It is required that all come in a proper dress code. T-shirt is a dress code for moving out or for playing. Tomorrow, someone may come wearing jogging clothes… A right (of choosing clothes to wear) is there, but the House has its decorum too. Therefore, it is a concern of the Speaker. We all should cooperate. We are withdrawing the proposal (seeking Chudasama’s suspension). We finish the subject here,” Rupani added.

Maintaining the House has its decorum and dignity, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, “Pareshbhai (Dhanani) and Shaileshbhai (Parmar) have asked us to show them rules. There are many rules which are not written in a book. But when the Speaker gives a ruling, it becomes an unwritten rule and system… Entire constitution of Britain is unwritten… So, no need to give a big form to the issue.”

Later, Speaker Trivedi said the words of Chudasama were on record and he will issue an order while citing the same.

After being escorted out of the House, Chudasama did not attend the proceedings for the entire day. When contacted, he told The Indian Express, “I am a soldier of the Congress party and follow the orders of my elders. We are having a meeting tonight with leaders of the party. Whatever they tell me, I will follow the order.”

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