Opposition declares no-confidence in the Speaker of the Assembly Haribhau Bagde

Mar 06, 2018, 11:42 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Alleges Haribhau Bagde's conduct unconstitutional; revoking of MLC Prashant Paricharak's suspension rocks both houses

Speaker of the Assembly Haribhau Bagde
Speaker of the Assembly Haribhau Bagde

Drama rocked the ongoing budget session on Monday, with the Opposition declaring no-confidence in the Speaker of the Assembly Haribhau Bagde and demanding that he be removed from his position immediately.

The tussle between the two sides reached a head over the Opposition's demand that the suspension of independent MLC Prashant Paricharak be extended for insulting army wives. He was suspended for making the derogatory comments last year and his suspension was revoked last week. The Opposition was also up in arms over the ruling party not replying to a debate on the Governor's speech, as well as its counter move of asking for a probe into allegations that the Opposition leader in the council, Dhananjay Munde, sought bribes to raise issues in the upper house.

MLC Prashant Paricharak
MLC Prashant Paricharak

The Opposition alleged that the government had engineered the stalling of both houses on Monday as it did want to face uncomfortable questions. The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party leaders in the assembly alleged that Bagde had been violating rules by mismanaging the proceedings, and turning down the Opposition's demand for a discussion on important issues. The joint Opposition has written a letter to the principal secretary of the state legislature, asking to table a resolution to show no-confidence in the presiding officer's abilities. "We're moving a resolution under Rule 11 that the Honorable Speaker Haribhau Bagde be removed because he has lost our trust by violating rules and behaving in a partisan manner," says the letter that was signed by senior leaders of the Congress, NCP, Samajwadi Party and Peasants and Workers Party.

Opposition leader in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said Bagde did not allow a response to a debate on the Governor's speech and took a vote count. "This is in violation of the Constitution. The BJP government does not want any debate and does not respond to our questions," he said.

The trigger
The ruling party's refusal to respond to a demand that MLC Prashant Paricharak's suspension be extended triggered the Opposition into firing salvos at the Speaker and the BJP.

The Speaker had consistently being telling members who had raised the issue that it was not related to the lower house, but the upper house.

The Shiv Sena, which stayed away from the no-confidence motion, demanded that Paricharak's membership be terminated if extending his suspension wasn't possible.

The Congress leaders wanted the government to register a crime of sedition against him.

However, the government said since the resolution to revoke his suspension had already been passed, there could not be any further decision in the matter for another year.

Revenue min under fire
Leader of the upper house and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil came under heavy criticism from Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde over Paricharak's suspension. Munde alleged that Patil intimidated the Opposition members when Sena members tabled a resolution to withdraw relief to Paricharak. Teachers' MLC Kapil Patil alleged that the revenue minister marched towards him with an intention of punching him. "Patil threatened me even as two ministers tried to control him. He questioned my aukat [status] and threatened to get me thrashed," said the MLC.

The minister dismissed all allegations, saying the legislator had passed unsavoury remarks by equating Paricharak with the ideology of people who are in power.

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