As the Shiv Sena joined the Opposition to corner the BJP-led government in the Legislative Council in seeking termination of BJP-backed MLC Prashant Paricharak, official work in the Upper House of the state legislature remained suspended for the second consecutive day. Following Leader of the Opposition Dhananjay Munde’s proposal to terminate the membership of MLC Prashant Paricharak yet again Tuesday, Shiv Sena legislator Neelam Gorhe said the government should have already terminated the membership and not waited for a personal apology.
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Paricharak had triggered a political row after allegedly making a derogatory remark about soldiers’ wives, at a rally held in Solapur in February in support of BJP candidates in the fray for the local body polls.
“When surgical strikes were carried out, the entire nation appreciated the role of our Army jawans, even legislators. Had somebody from Pakistan passed such remarks, we would have already decided to teach them a lesson. If a legislator is found using such statements for the jawans and their wives, it’s shameful and (he) should have been punished immediately. This issue does not belong to one political party, but the nation, hence the government should have acted immediately,” said Gorhe, supporting Munde’s proposal to permanently terminate Paricharak’s membership in the Legislative Council.
Paricharak had later claimed he made the remarks to criticise the NCP leaders who he said were taking credit for water supply from Ujani dam in Solapur district, a sensitive issue in the arid belt.
On Tuesday, Munde warned that he would not let the council function unless Paricharak’s membership was terminated. “If we let the house function, we will send out a wrong message. When soldiers protect the nation, it is the responsibility of the government to safeguard their family. Around 3,000 family members of soldiers had held a protest against Paricharak’s remark, terminating his membership should only be government’s reply,” he said.
Joining the criticism, Congress leader in the council Sharad Ranpise said, “There are rules under which stringent action can be taken against the MLC (Paricharak).”
Taking a dig at the BJP’s transparency agenda, Congress leader Ashok Jagtap said, “This is a transparent crime against those protecting our nation.”
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane too did not leave any stone unturned to embarrass the BJP-led government. He said, “It is not a good thing to distance the legislator when he commits a mistake. The matter needs no more discussion and immediate action should be taken against the MLC.”
Clarifying the BJP side, Leader of the House Chandrakant Patil said, “We do not support him at all. The matter needs to be discussed and a decision needs to be taken. However, I wish to clear that a wrong message that the government is being convinced to take action against the MLC (Paricharak) should not go out.”
Adjourning the House, Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar said ethics should be upheld irrespective of which party Paricharak belonged to and which party was supporting him. “The matter involves Army jawans and is very serious. Today, we are sitting in these AC halls because of the soldiers who shed their blood to protect us. The matter should be discussed with the CM in order to come to a conclusion,” said Nimbalkar.