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Suspension of three Rajasthan BJP MLAs revoked

August 27, 2009 15:37 IST

The Rajasthan Assembly ended the suspension of three Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs by a voice vote on a suo motu motion moved by the ruling Congress in the House. The suspension of the three MLAs -- Gyandeo Ahuja, Bhawani Singh Rajawat and Hemsingh Bhadana -- by the Speaker on July 28, 2009 for their unruly behaviour and conduct was revoked with immediate effect on Thursday. Though they were suspended for a year, Congress chief whip Virendra Beniwal said their suspension for a month was enough. "One-month suspension is sufficient," Beniwal said in the House.

Speaker Dipendra Singh Shekhawat took up the motion which was passed by voice vote.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal earlier said the suspended MLAs or the Leader of Opposition should have tendered an apology. Rather, they were protesting outside the House which, he said, was undemocratic and against tradition. "When BJP leaders, including Raje, are not listening to their party high command, how could they follow the traditions and parliamentary practice in the House," he asked.

Earlier, demanding withdrawal of suspension of their party colleagues, BJP MLAs led by leader of opposition Vasundhara Raje sat on dharna at the stairs outside the Assembly and shouted anti-government slogans. The suspended MLAs, who were not allowed to enter the Vidhan Sabha building by the security forces, sat on the road against what they termed as adamant and dictatorial attitude of the ruling Congress in the House.

Demanding that their suspension be withdrawn with immediate effect, Raje told reporters "It is for the first time that MLAs have been suspended for a year. It happened during my tenure too and I expressed regret and got the MLAs back." She also spoke to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Speaker Deepender Singh Shekawat in this regard. Raje said the manner in which six bills were passed by voice vote without debate in the absence of the opposition was "not democratic". "Keeping us out of the debate and suspending the MLAs is a disservice to the people of Rajasthan and we are disappointed," she said.

She also protested the way security personnel at the entrance gate of the Vidhan Sabha checked the vehicles of BJP legislators to ensure that the suspended MLAs did not enter the building. Deputy Leader of Opposition Ghanshyam Tiwari demanded stern action against the officers involved in the checking of vehicles.

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