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Sena-BJP spar over speaker's election in Maha assembly

Source: PTI
November 11, 2014 15:05 IST
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The time for filing of nomination for the post of Maharashtra legislative assembly speaker was on Tuesday extended after the Shiv Sena disrupted proceedings and demanded that the notification of schedule for the speaker's election be cancelled as all members had not taken oath.

As soon as the house assembled for the second day to enable the members to take oath, Sena leader Eknath Shinde, on a point of order, demanded that the notification of schedule for speaker's election be cancelled.

"The time for filing of nomination is till 12 noon. Since nearly 106 members are yet to take oath, they cannot participate in the process of election including proposing, seconding the name of the candidate or even if they want to contest the election, till they take oath as members," Shinde said.

The time for filing of nomination for the post of speaker was later extended till 3 pm.

As Shinde said that the notification should be cancelled and the time for filing of nomination be extended, all Sena members were on their feet demanding that the proceedings be stopped till a ruling is given by the Pro-tem Speaker Jeeva Pandu Gavit.

Intervening, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said it would be unfair to stop the oath-taking ceremony following which Sena members started sloganeering.

Ganpatrao Deshmukh of Peasants and Workers Party of India said the point of order was correct and at the same time it would not be right to stop the oath-taking procedure.

Deshmukh's view was supported by the Nationalist Congress Party member R R Patil who said that the time for filing of nomination should be extended till all members take oath.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Mehta agreed to the suggestion.

On Monday, 178 members including chief minister and his cabinet colleagues, former chief minister and former ministers, former speaker and deputy speaker as well as women members took oath.

Meanwhile, Gavit read out a letter from Sena president Uddhav Thackeray requesting that any slogans against united Maharashtra after the oath taking should be deleted from proceedings. He was referring to some members saying 'Jai Vidarbha' after taking oath.

The Pro-tem Speaker cited a similar ruling on March 22, 1995, and said if members speak anything other than the prescribed format of the oath; it will be deleted from the proceedings.

Bharatiya Janata Party member Ashish Deshmukh, son of Congress leader Ranjit Deshmukh, after taking oath had said "Jai Vidarbha".

Shiv Sena members objected to this and said the member was insulting Maharashtra to which the Pro-tem Speaker said, "Members should refrain from making such slogans and it would not be part of proceedings."

"Members are requested not to make comments which are divisive in nature and against the interests of Maharashtra," Gavit said and added that members who raise slogans against Maharashtra and separate statehood of Vidarbha will be suspended till the end of the session.

Unperturbed, Deshmukh signed the registerb and walked back to his seat.

The speaker's election will now be held on Wednesday and the time of withdrawal of nominations is 10 am.

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