Gandhinagar: Congress legislators were suspended from the morning session of Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday after they raised slogans and squatted in the Well of the House in protest of state Health Minister Nitin Patel's statements against a woman Congress MLA during a discussion.
Congress MLA Kamini Rathod of Dehgam constituency, while speaking on the motion of thanks on Governor's address, alleged that BJP government in the state had incurred "unnecessary" expenditure by organising DGPs and IGs meet in Dhordo of Rann of Kutch in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present.
She further said that there was no constructive outcome of the meet.
However, the Health Minister intervened and told her that it was an issue related to the security of the country and being a first time MLA, she should be careful while talking on such issues.
Angered by his statements, Rathod retorted and asked whether the senior BJP leader has taken a "supari" (contract) to silence the voice of women members of the Opposition, as he was not allowing them to express their views.
The minister then said that if he exposed what was going on in her constituency and her house, she would not even come to the Assembly.
Terming the minister's statements against their woman MLA a "threat", Congress MLAs started shouting slogans and came to the Well of the House. Amid the ruckus, Deputy Speaker Atmaram Parmar adjourned the House for 20 minutes.
When the session resumed, the leader of opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela sought Patel's apology for threatening the woman legislator.
Speaker Ganpat Vasava, who was in the chair after the break, said he would order removal of minister's comments from the record of the House.
Vaghela, however, said that just removal of such words from the official records would not suffice and the minister must apologise, or else they would not allow the House to function during the budget session.
Congress MLAs rushed to the well of the House once again and squatted there shouting slogans against the state government. After about ten minutes of din, the Speaker suspended around 45 Congress MLAs for rest of the morning session.
Later, after a meeting between government and Opposition, when the House met for the afternoon session, both Rathod and Patel withdrew the words spoken by them against each other.