19 Oppn MLAs suspended from Maha Assembly

19 Oppn MLAs suspended from Maha Assembly
Nineteen Opposition MLAs from the Congress and the NCP were today suspended from the Maharashtra Assembly for nine months for creating ruckus during the Budget presentation in the House last week. The suspension of nine Congress and 10 NCP members till December 31 came after a resolution to this effect was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat and it was adopted by the Assembly.

The Opposition members had disrupted the Budget presentation by Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in the Assembly on March 18 demanding farm loan waiver. Bapat said the Opposition MLAs had conducted themselves in a "disgraceful and unconstitutional manner". He said everybody had the right to express themselves but setting the state budget copy on fire outside the House had never happened.

The members were being suspended for displaying banners, playing cymbals, shouting slogans and disrespecting the Speaker's directions, he added. The MLAs suspended are Amar Kale, Vijay Waddetiwar, Harshwardhan Sakpal, Abdul Sattar, D P Sawant, Sangram Thopte, Amit Zanak, Kunal Patil, Jaikumar Gore (all from Congress) besides Bhaskar Jadhav, Jitendra Awhad, Madhusudan Kendre, Sangram Jagtap, Avdhut Tatkare, Deepak Chavan, Datta Bharne, Narhari Jirval, Vaibhav Pichad and Rahul Jagtap from the NCP. Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said the government can suspend all the Opposition MLAs but they will continue to raise farmers' issues.

The suspension was announced when the House met for a special session at 10 AM. Vikhe Patil said the Opposition will boycott the proceedings till the suspension is revoked. The Question Hour resumed at 11 AM in the absence of Opposition members.

The farm loan waiver issue has been dominating the Assembly proceedings ever since the Budget session began a fortnight ago, with Opposition seeking relief for cultivators in the wake of consecutive droughts and increase in number of farmer suicides in the last few years.
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