Ahmedabad: Fiftyfive Congress MLAs present in Gujarat Legislative Assembly were suspended for the rest of the session after they shouted slogans in support of Patel quota agitation and threw ‘lollipops’ towards Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
As the House assembled for the today, the Congress MLAs, who had come prepared to raise the issue, donned white caps on which it was written ‘Jay Sardar, Jay Patidar’.
They displayed banners with ‘Hardik ne Jail, Anar ne Mehel’ (Hardik in jail, Anar Patel – CM’s daughter – in palace) written on it and also shouted slogans chanting the same.
Speaker Ganpat Vasava tried to bring the situation under control, but the Congress MLAs did not respond to him.
They also hurled lollipops in the direction of treasury benches which fell near the seats where the Chief Minister and other senior ministers were sitting.
Amid the din, Health Minister Nitin Patel moved a proposal to name and suspend 55 Congress MLAs who were present in the House at that point, for two days.
The state Assembly session ends tomorrow.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja seconded the proposal, after which the Speaker suspended all the Congress MLAs for two days.
Vasava also adjourned the House for about 45 minutes after he suspended all the opposition MLAs.
The Congress members went out of the House and circled the Assembly, shouting the same slogan in the lobbies.
“We had yesterday met the Speaker and asked him to take up our private member bill, which provides for 20 per cent reservation for economically backward class (ECBs), but the Speaker did not give any positive response, so we had to protest today,” Congress MLA Raghavji Patel later told reporters.
The Congress had earlier moved a private member bill, seeking 20 per cent reservation for ECBs of all communities.
“The state government has suspended all the Congress MLAs for two days as they do not want us to participate in the discussion on important bills which will come up tomorrow,” senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil alleged.
Gujarat had last year witnessed a violent protest by Patel community for reservation, led by their leader Hardik Patel, in which 10 people were killed.
Hardik and other top organisers of the agitation are in jail on sedition charges.