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BJP, Congress members trade blows in Gujarat Assembly, two hurt

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat Assembly witnessed stormy scenes on Thursday as members of the ruling BJP and opposition Congress came to blows over suicides of farmers in the state, leaving Minister Nirmala Wadhvani and Congress member Baldev Thakore injured.

It all began during discussion on a question by Congress’ Amreli legislator Paresh Dhanani about farmers committing suicide in the state. Even as Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja tried to say he had answered this issue earlier, Dhanani, Thakore and other opposition members rushed towards the Speaker’s podium.

At this, members from the treasury benches also stormed towards the Speaker’s podium.

Between heated arguments interspersed by abusive language, the legislators started pushing and pulling one another and exchanged fisticuffs. In the process, Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare Wadhvani and Thakore sustained injuries. The Minister was seen with a plaster over her left hand and the Congress lawmaker had a fully-bandaged left leg.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel alleged that it was Thakore who attacked the BJP members, but Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil claimed BJP members tried to strangulate him.

Later, Leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela held a meeting with the Congress’ and BJP’s women legislators along with chief whip Pankaj Desai to take stock of the incident.

Dhanani alleged that the ruling party was avoiding a proper reply on the suicide by farmers in the state, adding that the government could not escape responsibility dismissing the suicides as caused by other reasons rather than crop failure.

IANS