GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat Assembly today witnessed ugly scenes when the ruling BJP and opposition Congress members clashed in the House, leading to the suspension of two Congress MLAs for an unprecedented three years and a one-year suspension of another lawmaker from the party.
The House plunged into chaos as the BJP and Congress members came to blows during the proceedings.
The speaker later suspended two Congress MLAs -- Pratap Dudhat and Amrish Der -- for three years, the longest ever in the state's history.
Another Congress legislator, Baldevji Thakor, was suspended for a year for an incident that allegedly took place at the lobby of the Assembly.
The three MLAs were asked not to enter the Assembly premises during their period of suspension.
Angry over the suspension of their colleagues, the other Congress MLAs walked out of the House in protest.
After the unruly scenes, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel introduced a motion to suspend Der and Dudhat for three years.
He moved a separate motion to suspend Thakor for a year.
The motions were put to vote by Speaker Rajendra Trivedi and passed by a majority vote.
Denouncing the scuffle inside the House, Trivedi said it was a "black day" in the history of the Assembly even as the Congress MLAs stormed out in protest.
Earlier, the Assembly witnessed chaotic scenes.
A few Congress members hit BJP MLA Jagdish Panchal with the rod of a microphone and also punched him.
This invited a retaliation from the ruling party members, who assaulted Congress MLA Der.
The ruckus began when the speaker stopped Vikram Madam of the Congress from expressing his views during a discussion on an issue after the Question Hour.
Madam, however, insisted that he would speak. At that time, Der asked the speaker to allow Madam to speak.
The speaker objected to his tone, following which Madam and Der rushed to the Well of the House in protest.
Trivedi suspended both the MLAs for the rest of the day and they were taken out of the Assembly by the marshals.
This enraged Congress' Dudhat, who attacked BJP's Panchal with the rod attached to a microphone.
Dudhat was angry with Panchal for asking Congress MLAs to remain silent when the speaker was making his point.
After the attack on Panchal, the speaker suspended Dudhat for the rest of the ongoing Budget Session.
He then adjourned the House for 10 minutes. In the meantime, Der entered the House from the back door and attacked Panchal.
The other BJP members present in the House came to Panchal's rescue and attacked Der.
The marshals rushed in and brought the situation under control. Later, in the lobby of the Assembly, Thakor allegedly tried to assault BJP MLA Harsh Sanghvi.
The other BJP members intervened and prevented the Congress MLA from attacking Sanghvi.