Una flogging: Cong MLAs suspended from Assembly, 400 workers detained

Una flogging: Cong MLAs suspended from Assembly, 400 workers detained

Una flogging: Cong MLAs suspended from Assembly, 400 workers detained
Around 50 Congress MLAs were today suspended from the state Assembly and nearly 400 of its workers detained even as the party stepped up its offensive against the BJP government in Gujarat over "atrocities on Dalits", including the Una flogging incident.

While the Assembly witnessed ruckus over the issue, thousands of party workers took out a 'Janakrosh rally' against the "oppressive" government. Nearly 400 of them, including senior leaders Shankersinh Vaghela, Bharatsinh Solanki, Shaktisinh Gohil, and Rajya Sabha MP Madhusudan Mistry were detained.

They were and later let off. Around 50 Congress MLAs were evicted and suspended for a day from the Assembly after they staged a demonstration and disrupted the proceedings over the Una Dalit thrashing incident of July 11.

During a discussion on the issue, Congress members rushed to the well of the House displaying placards dubbing the government as "anti-Dalit" and threw bangles towards ministers.

At least 20 of the Opposition members wore body suit banners and kept up their protest, despite repeated warnings by Speaker Ramanlal Vora on the second and last day of the Monsoon session of the Assembly.

As the din continued, the Speaker ordered marshals to evict the Congress MLAs from the House and named and suspended them for a day. Subsequently, the Congress MLAs were forcibly taken out of the House.

The Speaker said the Opposition had come to the House with a pre-planned strategy as more than their concern for Dalits they were trying to garner political mileage out of the issue.

Speaker did not suspend Opposition leader Shankersinh Vaghela and senior legislator Mohansinh Rathwa as they remained seated during the ruckus, but later they too walked out protesting the action against their party colleagues.

Later, nearly 400 Congress supporters, along with senior leaders and MLAs, were detained as they took out a march towards the Assembly as part of the party's 'Janakrosh rally'.

They were stopped when they reached the main gate of the Assembly, police said. "We detained around 400-odd people as they tried to enter the state Assembly. Those detained included senior party leaders," Gandhinagar SP Virendra Yadav said.

Thousands of Congress supporters had gathered in Gandhinagar to join the rally against the "oppressive" BJP government, and "atrocities" on the Dalits, as the monsoon session of the Assembly was in progress.

As protesters reached the entrance of the assembly, police put up a barricade to stop them from entering the premises. When they tried to force their way, police prevented them from moving ahead using water canons, and then detained them. All those detained were later let-off later.

Emerging from the police detention, Bharatsinh Solanki attacked the state government charging it with being "irresponsible and oppressive". "The BJP government has become irresponsible and oppressive towards the public. Corruption has grown and every section of people is fed up with the government. Even when the Dalits were being attacked, beaten up, the Prime Minister remained silent on the issue and instead expressed his solidarity for the people of Balochistan," Solanki said.

He said the government had done little to prevent attacks on the Dalits, the adivasis and the OBC community members. Earlier, addressing the rally, Vaghela asked the public to uproot the BJP government.

"Unlike the BJP government, the Congress government worked in the interest of the public. When our PM (Narendra Modi) was chief minister here, in 2013, he criticised Congress-led UPA government over rising petrol, diesel price. The price continues to rise," he said.

"The BJP stalled passage of GST Bill for four years. Now, it had trouble when Congress raised objection to it. BJP continues to chant that the PM is from Gujarat. They wanted to congratulate Urjit Patel for being appointed as RBI governor, for his being a Gujarati. I objected to it. All this is being done to mislead the public," Vaghela told the gathering.

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