MNS legislators slap Abu Azmi for taking oath in Hindi

Language row: Mrashtra House Speaker suspends four

MNS legislators slap Abu Azmi for taking oath in Hindi

MNS MLAs snatch the mike from Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azami while he was taking oath in Hindi in the Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai on Monday. PTI / Courtesy TV 9 A three-day special session of the assembly began here for oath taking of the MLAs.

Earlier, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had stated that he wanted all MLAs to take oath in Marathi and warned of severe consequences if anyone tried to take oath in other language.

Not to be outdone in irresponsible rhetoric, SP leader Abu Azmi declared that he would take oath in Hindi and dared the MNS to stop him. He also taunted Raj Thackeray for being a “frog in a well” and asked him to come out in open and see the outer world.

The session began with the oath taking of the members by alphabetical order of their surnames. Azami’s was one among the early members to take oath and he began in Hindi. No sooner had he started taking the oath, all the 13 MNS legislators in moved towards him menacingly. One of them took away the mike from Azmi and there were altercations between him and the MNS legislators.

As the stunned house was witnessing the scene, the MNS legislators even began roughing up the SP leader. Azmi was pushed and shoved by the MNS and even slapped on his face by an MNS legislator Ram Kadam.

By that time, leaders of other parties, who were witnessing the scene in disbelief, surged in the well and tried to control the situation. The MNS members raised slogans in favour of Marathi and Maharashtra, denouncing Azmi.

The pro-tem speaker then adjourned the house for 30 minutes to restore order.
Action was quick in following. A privilege motion was tabled by  parliamentary affairs minister Harshvardhan Patil, asking that the four MLAs be suspended. The motion was passed by the house by voice vote, which resulted in suspension of Ram Kadam, Vasant Gite, Shishir Shinde and Ramesh Wanjale.

They would not be allowed to enter the assembly premises either in Mumbai or in Nagpur.

BJP state president Nitin Gadkari said every elected member of the house has the right to take oath or speak in the language of his choice and the MNS action was “unfortunate” and “unconstitutional.” The NCP too condemned the incident. 

On their part, the MNS spokesman Shirish Parkar defended the action and said the Shiv Sena too had done exactly the same thing once upon a time. While all this action and condemnations were going on, Ram Kadam, the MNS legislator from Ghatkopar, who took lot of pride in slapping Azmi and wanted to turn himself a hero, forgot the basic directive of his party leader Raj Thackeray to speak in Marathi come what may.

To shine on the national media and let his message go across, Kadam spoke in Hindi before all channels, justifying his action and said even if he faced hundreds of suspensions, he would do exactly the same thing what he did on Monday.

Nitish, Lalu condemn action

Patna, DHNS: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday denounced the action of MNS MLAs. Nitish has urged Maharashtra Speaker to rein in such divisive elements. Lalu, too, said if the country disintegrated, then the Shiv Sainiks and the MNS would be held responsible. “Is it a crime to speak in Hindi,” asked Lalu while urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to initiate strict action.

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