`Suspended MNS MLAs eligible to vote in council, RS polls`
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 16, 2010, 17:33
Mumbai: Four suspended legislators of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are eligible for voting in the next month's biennial elections to the Legislative council and the Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil said today.

Even though the four MNS MLAs have been placed under suspension and barred from entering the Vidhan Bhavan premises and participating in the legislative business, voting is their constitutional right, Patil said.

"They cannot be barred from exercising their constitutional right," he said.

He said a meeting of Business Advisory Committee (BAC) will have to be convened to take a decision on allowing the four MLAs to enter the Vidhan Bhavan for the voting purpose.

On the Opposition's demand to revoke the suspension, Patil said, "A motion to this effect will have to be brought in the House and passed by a majority voice vote. Any decision on this would have to be taken during the Monsoon Session only."

The four MLAs -- Shishir Shinde, Ram Kadam, Ramesh Wanzale and Vasant Gite, were suspended for four years when they physically assaulted Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi for taking oath in Hindi and misbehaved with a woman legislator who tried to intervene.

During the budget session which concluded last month, MNS had urged the government to revoke the suspension saying their party's group leader Bala Nandgaonkar had already expressed regret over the incident. BJP had supported MNS's demand.

MNS has 13 MLAs in the Lower House, which is the largest block of non Sena-BJP and non-Congress NCP legislators.

The electoral college for the next month's election to the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council has 288 members of the Legislative Assembly.

The quota for first preference votes for Legislative Council is 27, while that for Rajya Sabha it is 42.

The election to the Legislative Council and the Rajya Sabha will be held on June 10 and June 17 respectively.

There is one vacancy of a nominated member, who can vote for the Legislative Council elections.


First Published: Sunday, May 16, 2010, 17:33

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