The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was adjourned sine die following pandemonium over the termination of the membership of two senior Congress MLAs on Wednesday in Bhopal.
Congress deputy leader of opposition Chauhdhary Rakesh Singh and firebrand MLA Kalpana Parulekar were disqualifed by Speaker Ishwardas Rohani for misbehaving in the House on Tuesday. The Speaker also served breach of privilege notices on seven other Congress MLAs.
The opposition Congress, which termed the speaker’s decision high-handed and illegal, met Governor Ramnaresh Yadav and informed him of the events that had transpired through the day.
While Tuesday was the high-point, Wednesday marked the conclusion of the three-day theatre of chaos played out in the Madhya Pradesh vidhan sabha which saw the opposition repeatedly demanding a debate on the issue of corruption and the ruling BJP government steadfastly refusing it.
On Tuesday, BJP MLA Gyan Singh was presiding over the House in the Speaker’s absence. The Speaker was being confined to his chamber by opposition MLAs for not allowing a debate on corruption, more specifically on the recently conducted income-tax raids on two rich city businessmen who are perceived to be very close to the ruling BJP establishment.
When Mr. Chaturvedi and Ms. Parulekar moved a no-confidence motion against the Speaker, accusing him of partisan behavior, the Chair refused to entertain them. Amid chaos and loud sloganeering, the two leaders then climbed up the podium at which point the Chair was escorted away by the House marshalls.
On Wednesday, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra moved a proposal to disqualify the two leaders over this issue, which was passed by voice vote and approved by the Speaker.
Leader of opposition Ajay Singh said the disqualifications were against the principles of natural justice and were completely illegal as the two members were not served any notices, which was mandatory before disqualification. “Both Mr. Chaturvedi and Ms. Parulekar, along with the rest of the MLAs, were voicing a legitimate demand — discussion on corruption — but the Speaker acted in a partisan manner and didn’t allow that. Later, even his replacement did not pay any heed to the opposition’s demands,” said Mr. Singh.
“Both the leaders were not given any chance to defend themselves and were disqualified without being served any notices. This just shows the ruling BJP’s dictatorial attitude,” said Mr. Singh.
“There were some BJP MLAs too who had approached the dias yesterday. Maybe we made a mistake, but so did they. Why didn’t the Speaker punish them?” he asked.
Thus, after two days of chaos and commotion, the monsoon session of the Vidhan Sabha, which commenced on Monday, was adjourned sine die by the Speaker.
For the last two days, the opposition Congress had been demanding a discussion on the issue of corruption.
On Tuesday, after the Vidhan Sabha was adjourned for the second consecutive day, both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress had accused each other of murdering democracy.
“The Congress has murdered democracy today by behaving in such an unruly manner. The government is ready for any discussion but it has to happen within the established rules of the house,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had told journalists on Tuesday.