Five Congress legislators, including Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, were suspended on Friday for the entire Budget session for creating ruckus and allegedly jostling Governor Bandaru Dattatraya when he was leaving the Himachal Pradesh Assembly complex after his address.
Speaker Vipin Parmar informed the house that five Congress MLAs — Mukesh Agnihotri, Harsh Varhan Chauhan, Sunder Singh Thakur, Satpal Raizada and Vinay Kumar, were suspended for the entire session till March 20.
The trouble began when Agnihotri stood up as Governor Bandaru Dattatraya was delivering his address on the first day of the session. He said the address had no mention of price rise, unemployment and other important issues.
As opposition legislators tried to disrupt the address, the Governor abruptly ended his speech and said it may be treated as read. After that the Speaker adjourned the house till Monday.
When the Governor was about to leave the assembly premises, Congress legislators tried to block his passage. BJP ministers and legislators intervened and allegedly pushed the Opposition members aside.
Later, Agnihotri told the media that this was for the first time that the Governor ‘ran away’ after reading two pages of his 65-page address.
“The address has no mention of corruption relating to Covid, unemployment, price rise and other common man issues,” he said.
Agnihotri alleged the Congress legislators were, in fact, manhandled by BJP legislators and ministers when they tried to talk to the Governor. “We did not touch the Governor, the CM (Chief Minister) or ministers.”
After the ruckus, the Speaker, who had earlier adjourned the house, recalled it in special circumstances and condemned the behaviour of Congress members and said they blocked the passage of the Governor, threw the copy of Governor’s address on him and indulged in jostling.
He said he had to recall the house after adjournment under rule 346 to discuss the issue, which was most shameful and never happened in the past. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the Governor was manhandled when he was going towards his vehicle.
He moved a motion to suspend the five Congress legislators in the absence of the entire Opposition.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur informed the house that the Governor’s ADC was manhandled by the Congress Legislative Party leader and this was against the traditions of the state assembly.
At this, the house passed the resolution to suspend the five Congress MLAs for the entire session. He said action was taken as per rules, adding “nobody is above the law”.