GUWAHATI: Eleven MLAs, including six from the BJP and five from the Congress who had recently defected to the saffron party, were on Monday suspended from the State Assembly for the entire five-day winter session by Speaker Pranab Gogoi for disobeying him and creating a ruckus.
As the session got underway, the BJP MLAs demanded scrapping of the Question Hour for a discussion on the “deteriorating law and order situation” in the State. BJP MLA Jadav Deka highlighted the attack on Hindi-speaking people in Dibrugarh district and the growing activities of Islamist radicals. He urged the Speaker to let the issues be discussed immediately but the latter rejected the demand, prompting the BJP MLAs to protest. Soon, Congress MLAs began shouting at the BJP MLAs.
Amid the din, the BJP MLAs rushed to the well of the House and insisted that the Speaker accede to their demand. They were joined by the five Congress MLAs who joined the BJP recently. A section of the Congress MLAs too rushed to the well.
Eventually, the 11 protesting MLAs were evicted from the House by the Speaker, who later announced his decision to suspend them for the entire winter session. The BJP took strong exception to the Speaker’s ruling with Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is also the party’s Assam unit chief, alleging that the Congress had turned the Assembly into its office.
Former Congress minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is now with the BJP, alleged that the Speaker took the action at the behest of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. “This is unprecedented and undemocratic,” another BJP MLA Ranjit Das alleged.