Four Cong MLAs briefly suspended from Gujarat Assembly

Four Congress MLAs rush into well of Gujarat Assembly over Covid-19 deaths; briefly suspended

The MLAs raised slogans against the BJP, alleging 'criminal negligence' on part of the ruling party in handling the pandemic

The suspension of the four MLAs was revoked by Speaker Nimaben Acharya soon after the Assembly reconvened. Credit: DH File Photo

Gujarat Assembly Speaker Nimaben Acharya on Tuesday suspended four Congress MLAs for a brief period after they rushed into the well of the House while shouting slogans against the state government over the issue of deaths due to Covid-19 in the state.

The MLAs were initially suspended for the entire day, but Acharya, showing a lenient approach, revoked their suspension when the House met after a 15-minute adjournment.

During the Question Hour on the second and last day of the monsoon session, members of both the opposition Congress and the ruling BJP engaged in a heated debate over the issue of deaths due to the coronavirus infection in the state.

Citing Gujarat Congress's own survey, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani claimed that over three lakh people have died due to Covid-19 in the state as against the government's toll statistics of 10,082.

"There is a huge discrepancy in the actual figures and the official death toll. As per the figures provided by 106 municipalities in response to RTIs, over 37,600 people have died due to Covid-19 in these cities and towns," Dhanani claimed.

When the Congress leader sought to know if the BJP government would pay a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each Covid-19 victim, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel challenged Dhanani to ask his party to first implement it in the Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan and Punjab.

After a heated debate, all the Congress MLAs stood up from their seats and started raising slogans against the BJP, alleging "criminal negligence" on part of the ruling party in handling the pandemic.

Later, Congress MLAs Virji Thummar, Baldevji Thakor, Kirit Patel and Vikram Madam rushed into the well of the House with banners and raised slogans against the state government, following which Speaker Acharya suspended them for the entire day and adjourned the House till the end of the Question Hour.

However, when the House met again after 15 minutes, Acharya revoked the suspension of the four legislators.

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