14 Oppn members suspended for stalling Mah House proceedings
Thirteen Shiv Sena and one BJP legislator were suspended for a year today after they stalled proceedings of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly protesting government's failure to nab culprits who stole the golden idol of Lord Ganesh from a temple in Diveagar in Raigad district.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Harshvardhan Patil moved the resolution for suspension of the members after two adjournments which were passed by a voice vote.
The Sena members who have been suspended are -Pratap Sarnaik, Mahadev Babar, Vijay Shivtare, Eknath Shinde, Vinod Ghosalkar, Rajan Vichare, Dyanraj Chougule, Sanjay Gavande, Sujit Minchekar, Abhijit Adsul, Balaji Kinikar, Chandrakant Mokate and Daulat Daroda. The lone suspended BJP MLA was Ram Shinde.
Patil said the members had breached the privilege of the House by their action of disregarding the Chair and bringing idol of a deity on the floor of the House. The House was later adjourned for the day.
Earlier, at the fag end of the Question Hour, Sena members came into the house carrying a silver plated idol of the elephant headed god shouting "Ganpati Bappa Morya Ganpati gele chori la...laaj nahi sarkarla"(Ganpati has been stolen and the government is not ashamed). They also played the cymbals.
After the Question Hour, when MLA Pratap Sarnaik stood up, Speaker Dilip Walse Patil asked him to remove the topi and saffron robes worn by him before speaking in the House. The member started singing the Ganesh 'arti' and was joined by rest of the Sena legislators following which Patil adjourned the House for 30 minutes.
Later, when the House re-assembled, Deputy Speaker Vasant Purke admonished Sena members for bringing the idol into the House and asked the legislators who had gathered into the Well to take their seats.
Objecting to the behaviour of the Sena MLAs, NCP member Shashikant Shinde criticised them for bringing the idol of the state's most revered deity into the House in such a manner. He slammed the Sena members for politicising the issue.
"They have not only insulted the lord but also the august house. I demand an inquiry into whether the idol has really been stolen or has been found and hidden by anybody," he said.
Purke then adjourned the House for an hour. The Assembly was scheduled to debate the disproportionate assets case of Congress leader Kripashankar Singh, court strictures against former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in Subhash Ghai's Whistling Woods case and the Adarsh scam later in the day.