The Maharashtra government decided to form a committee to inquire into independent MLC Prashant Paricharak’s alleged derogatory remarks on wives of soldiers.
The independent MLC will be suspended after the constitution of the committee till submission of its report; the state government informed the legislative council.
However, an Opposition moved to the well of the House, shouting slogans and demanded that the BJP-backed MLC be suspended immediately.
The MLC had kicked up a controversy last month over his remarks on wives of armymen, but had later apologised.
As the House assembled for the day, senior NCP leader Sunil Tatkare said Paricharak insulted the people of Maharashtra and that he has no moral right to remain a member.
“Until there is a decision taken on Paricharak, the House cannot be allowed to function,” he said.
Congress MLC Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap said that BJP spokespersons are incorrectly giving media statements that the Opposition is not allowing the House to function. “We too want the House to function. We are only waiting for the government to move a proposal for his suspension,” Jagtap said.
Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar then said a meeting had been convened this morning and he has asked House leader and Minister Chandrakant Patil to convey to the House the details of the meeting.
Patil then informed that he, as a member of the House and the government, supports the views of the Opposition that strict action should be taken against Paricharak.
“However, looking at past precedents, it has been observed that whenever such an incident has taken place, a committee has been formed to study such instances and the concerned person has been given a chance to present his case,” Patil said.
“There is no problem in giving the committee a time- frame to submit its report. But, it will be unbecoming of democracy to take action against him (Paricharak) without he being given a chance to present his case,” he said.
The BJP leader said the committee will submit its report before the end of this session and that he will remain suspended till then. However, Opposition members disagreed with Patil and raised slogans against the government, thus, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.
After the House re-convened, Patil said whatever punishment has to be given to Paricharak, should be done through the committee that will comprise seven members.
An unrelenting Opposition continued sloganeering and trooped into the well of the House and demanded Paricharak’s immediate suspension.
During the ensuing commotion, the Chair then adjourned the House for the day.
Addressing a rally in Solapur in the run-up to the local bodies elections last month, Paricharak had said, “A soldier gets a telegram from his wife that she has delivered a baby and he distributes sweets to his colleagues on the border, though he has not visited his home for a whole year.”