Five Congress members of Legislative Assembly were on Wednesday suspended from the Maharashtra assembly for two years for causing injury to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao when they tried to block his entry into the House to address a joint sitting of the bicameral legislature.
A resolution moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Mehta seeking to suspend Rahul Bondre, Abdul Sattar, Amar Kale, Virendra Jagtap and Jaikumar Gore was passed by the the House by voice vote.
The MLAs were protesting against ‘unconstitutional’ manner in which the motion of confidence in the Devendra Fadnavis government was passed by voice vote instead of a division vote.
While moving the resolution, Mehta said the five MLAs had got close to the governor and apparently jostled with him, injuring his hand. "Their action has lowered the dignity of the august House," he said.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Girish Bapat said a committee headed by Speaker Haribhau Bagde has been constituted to probe the incident.
The panel includes Leader of Opposition Eknath Shinde, Congress Legislature Party leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, senior PWP legislator Ganpatrao Deshmukh, Prakash Mehta, besides Bapat.
The committee will probe the incident and submit its report next month. The decision on whether to continue or revoke the suspension will be taken during the winter session of the state legislature in Nagpur, also beginning next month.
Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said two officials of the legislature were also injured in the melee. "The governor's left hand was injured. The issue does not end with an apology. This should not be tolerated," Khadse said before the motion for suspension was moved.
Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said there was no intention to hurt anyone but he was prepared to apologise. Ajit Pawar, R R Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the Nationalist Congress Party said the matter should be put to rest after an apology, if the report of the governor getting injured was true.Wednesday was the first day of the new assembly and it should not have started on a bitter note, they said.