GANDHINAGAR: All Congress MLAs present in Gujarat Assembly, except two, were today suspended for a day after they disrupted proceedings while protesting inside the House alleging removal of their questions from the list.
The Congress members today held protest for the third consecutive day during the ongoing budget session on various issues.
On July 3, all party legislators, except two, were suspended for a day after they stalled proceedings while demanding a special discussion on situation arising out of delayed rains. Yesterday, four MLAs were suspended after they demanded a discussion on law and order situation.
During the Question Hour today, Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela raised the issue of removal of some questions asked by Congress MLAs, from the final list discussed in the House.
Vaghela, while addressing Speaker Vaju Vala, alleged that the BJP-led state government has started a new trend.
"You have started a new trend of removing our questions. Atleast four questions asked by our MLAs are removed from the list. Why they are removed?" asked Vaghela, which triggered a heated discussion between Vala and Vaghela.
Suddenly, Dahod MLA Chandrika Bariya and Viramgam MLA Dr Tejashree Patel rushed towards the well and sat infront of the Speaker on the floor to register their protest.
Bariya claimed that her question was removed from today's list.
Later, all the 40-odd Congress MLAs, except Vaghela and Abdasa MLA Shaktisinh Gohil, joined them and rushed towards the well in protest.
After some warnings, Vala suspended all the MLAs standing in the well for one day. The Speaker called marshalls in the House to evict them.
In the support of their party legislators, Vaghela and Gohil, who were not suspended, walked out of the House.
Taking to mediapersons while coming out of House, Vaghela alleged, "Now, the government and its ministers have started a new trend of removing those questions which are uncomfortable and difficult to answer.
Earlier, when BJP was in Opposition, the Congress-led government answered their questions. But now, ministers are putting pressure to remove our questions by giving silly reasons."
Vaghela was referring to question no 3 asked by Chandrika Bariya in today's list. However, the question was removed saying 'it is removed by the request of minister'.
"In the last two days, many such 'uncomfortable' questions were removed, asked by our MLAs Gyasuddin Shaikh, Chandrika Bariya, Anand Chaudhari and Tejashree Patel. As per section-81 of Assembly Act, no one can remove it. This is a dictatorial system developed by BJP. We are going to meet the Speaker about the issue," said Vaghela.
According to Bariya, her question was removed because it raised finger on government about alleged misuse of grants meant for tribals of Dahod region.
"I asked them to provide figures about grants used in each taluka of Dahod under Vanbandhu Yojna. Since these grants are misused, they mounted pressure on me to withdraw my question earlier. Some officials even called me and asked me to remain absent during session. When I denied, they just removed the question to escape from answering it," alleged Bariya.
Similarly, Patel alleged that her question was also removed from the list to be discussed on July 8. She claimed that a written notice has been sent to her by the government declaring that her question is already removed.
"After 2002 post-Godhra violence, the state government constituted B J Sheth Commission in 2009 to find out reasons behind Muslim polarisation. So, I asked a question about why the report is not yet prepared and tabled in the House," Patel told mediapersons.
"In a letter sent to me yesterday, the government said that my question will not be entertained because it's a 'semi-judicial' matter. How can a Commission be a judicial matter when it is formed by government? They are just misleading people and hiding behind such excuses," she alleged.