Gujarat Cong stages walkout over party legislator’s suspension

The opposition Congress on Friday staged a walkout in the Gujarat Assembly, protesting against the suspension of their senior party legislator from Una constituency.

Speaker Nimaben Acharya suspended the Congress legislator Punja Vansh for seven days for using unparliamentary language in the House.

The Congress created an uproar when the Bharatiya Janata Party failed to respond to a query of Congress legislator Harshad Ribadiya on the third day of the budget session of the 14th Gujarat Assembly.

Congress’ Punja Vansh responded to the Minister of State (Home), Harsh Sangvi, when the latter tried to stop the Congress and said, “This is not your party office and stop behaving like a ‘tapori’.”

This statement by the Congress legislator angered the BJP MLAs.

However, on the Speaker’s request Vansh later expressed regret over his words.

After the Question Hour ended, BJP Chief Whip Pankaj Desai moved a proposal to have Punja Vansh suspended for seven days.

This was supported by Education Minister Jitu Vaghani, former Legislative Affairs Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja as well as former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.

Responding to this proposal, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Shailesh Parmar said, “When the Assembly member has expressed regret over his words, such proposals should be withdrawn and the BJP government must take a broader approach towards it. We all have to participate in the proceedings of the House till March-end and still if you want to go ahead on the basis of majority, please also ensure the live telecast of the Assembly proceedings for transparency.”

Congress Chief Whip C.J. Chavda supported Shailesh Parmar’s request.

“Inspite of being a senior member of the House, Punja Vansh has repeatedly and right from the start of the House, uttered such words and violated the decorum of the House. I too support this proposal,” said Nitin Patel.

Speaker Acharya said, “It’s true and even when I asked him if he had any remorse for his words, even while expressing regret, Vansh uttered inappropriate words. So I put this proposal to vote.”

The Speaker then ordered the suspension of Punja Vansh for seven days from the House proceedings based on the majority voting in the Assembly.

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