The Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra assembly started with chaos today as the house suspended 12 MLAs of the BJP for a year for abusing and manhandling the Speaker-in-chair. Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, who was allegedly present during the ruckus which took place in a cabin, insisted that these are "false allegations". The suspended MLAs are meeting the Governor, hoping for a reprieve.
"These are false allegations. A story is being created... no one from the BJP abused," Mr Fadnavis told the media. "For OBC (Other Backward Castes) reservations, we are ready to sacrifice more than 12 MLAs," he added, referring to one of the key issues that his party is set to highlight during this session.
The Opposition had created uproar in the House over the OBC issue today and alleged that Speaker-in-Chair Bhaskar Jadhav did not give them enough time to speak.
The matter escalated after the House was adjourned.
"The Opposition leaders came to my cabin and abused me using unparliamentary language in front of Devendra Fadnavis and senior leader Chandrakant Patil. Some leaders even manhandled me," Mr Jadhav told the media.
The Opposition alleged that that Speaker-in-Chair also abused the leaders who went to meet him. Mr Jadhav then asked the state's Parliamentary Affairs minister to investigate the issue.
A resolution has been taken to suspend 12 MLAs for one year. The list includes Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkalkar, Parag Alavni, Harish Pimpale, Ram Satpute, Vijay Kumar Rawal, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche, Kirtikumar Bangdia.
Later, Nawab Malik, a leader of Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, posted a video on Twitter, commenting "This was how it all started".
"This Thackeray government is acting like Taliban. I condemn the action. Neither me nor any other MLAs abused Bhaskar Jadhav," BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said.
"None of the BJP members used abuses in the cabin. I even apologized to him but despite that they suspended," he added.
The assembly has to pick a new Speaker as former Speaker Nana Patole resigned and taken over the post of the state Congress president. The BJP wants its own candidate for the post, though the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has the numbers.
The Congress was given the Speaker's post in a power-sharing arrangement when the alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress formed the government in November 2019.