INDIA. Mumbai: The officiating Speaker Bhaskar Jadhav of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, suspended 12 BJP MLAs for a year when they reportedly created an uproar in the Assembly, over the issue of reservations to the OBC community, on the first day of the Monsoon session, on Monday.
A resolution was passed to suspend 12 MLAs for one year for “abusing and manhandling” the Speaker in the chair. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab said during the period of suspension, the 12 legislators will not be allowed to enter the Legislature premises in Mumbai and Nagpur for the next 12 months. The monsoon session began at Vidhan Bhavan in South Mumbai on Monday.
Jadhav later explained that “When the House was adjourned, opposition leaders came to my cabin and abused me in front of the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis and senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil”.
Jadhav appealed to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister and sought a probe into the incident, while the Opposition leaders also claimed that the Jadhav, too had abused them. Fadnavis told media that the “The government created a story out of the incident and suspended 12 of our MLAs. Our MLAs didn’t abuse the Speaker. There were some heated arguments but our senior member Ashish Shelar on behalf of all MLAs apologized to Jadhav. Yet the government came up with this plan to suspend our MLAs. We will continue our fight.”
Jadhav is officiating as a Speaker since the speaker’s post is vacant since February after the then Speaker Nana Patole resigned to take over as the Maharashtra Congress president. The new Speaker is still to be installed.
The 12 suspended BJP MLAs are : Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkalkar, Parag Alavni, Harish Pimpale, Ram Satpute, Vijay Kumar Rawal, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche and Kirtikumar Bangdia.
Suspended BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said, “This government has put Taliban to shame. Inside the Speaker’s chamber, abusive language was used by Shiv Sena MLAs. Even then, we apologized with a respect to the Chair. In my speech, I was just trying to correct the wrong facts stated by NCP Minister Chhagan Bhujbal with regards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
In March this year, the Supreme Court quashed 27% OBC reservation in Maharashtra Zilla Parishad polls, on the ground that the total reservation ceiling of 50% can’t be breached. The SC judgment came in response to petitions challenging Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961. The SC judgment has affected over 50,000 seats reserved for the OBCs in local body elections.
Similarly, In May 05 this year, the Supreme Court struck down the provisions of a Maharashtra Government’s 2018 law providing reservation in education and government jobs to the Maratha community, which took the total quota in the state above the 50 percent ceiling set by the court in its 1992 Indra Sawhney (Mandal) judgment. The judgement came in the wake of a batch of petitions that challenged the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018.
In response to the Supreme Court judgment holding quota for the Maratha community in Maharashtra invalid, on May 7, the Maharashtra Government issued an interim government resolution (GR) removing the reservation in promotions for public servants belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes and Special Backward Classes categories. A war of attrition between the Opposition and the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi Government has begun on these issues.
In the meanwhile on Monday, the Assembly passed a resolution urging the Centre to bring a Constitutional amendment to remove the 50 per cent ceiling on caste-based reservations set earlier by the Supreme Court as it is coming in the way of granting quota to the SEBC category comprising Marathas. As per the resolution moved by state PWD Minister Ashok Chavan, without relaxing the 50 per cent limit on caste-based reservations, the quota for the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) cannot be granted. However the BJP members were not present in the house when the resolution was passed.