Ruckus in Gujarat Assembly as Congress, BJP exchange blows

Gujarat assembly house

Speaker Rajendra Trivedi suspended Congress MLAs Pratap Dudhat and Ambarish Der from the Assembly for three years for allegedly attacking a BJP lawmaker with a microphone in the House, ANI reported. "I was of the view of suspending the errant legislators for five years but the ruling party appears to be soft and has sought only three years' suspension", Trivedi said.

The ruckus erupted during discussion over tabling the report of Justice D.K. Trivedi Commission in the Asaram Bapu case pertaining to the unnatural death of two children studying in the ashram in 2008. Both the children were from Madam's constituency.

The speaker ruled that such point of order - as sought by Madam - can not be raised. The Speaker complained about Der's tone, after which the two Congress leaders rushed to the Well of the House. Der was warned by the Speaker not to do so.

The other BJP members present in the House came to Panchal's rescue and retaliated and surrounded Der and rained kicks and punches on him. The Speaker then adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

"This is a shameful incident which has never happened in the history of Gujarat assembly".

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He was later suspended by the Speaker following which Congress MLA Amrish Der began speaking in his support.

However, Dudhat said: "The BJP is trying to shift the people's attention from public issues like the death of children in Asaram Ashram". This enraged Dudhat, who yanked out his desk microphone and allegedly hit Panchal with it. "Today also, he spoke something bad about my mother which infuriated me and, in a spate of anger, I rushed towards him".

Panchal, for his part, denied using foul language. "I do not even know what I was being suspended for", he said.

According to the BJP, which has 99 legislators in the 182-member assembly, the Congress MLAs planned the assault in order prevent the House from functioning.

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