Pandemonium in Maharashtra legislature over 26/11 report, MLCs suspended (Lead)

June 16th, 2009 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) Three opposition legislators were suspended from the Maharashtra legislative council for creating a ruckus in the house Tuesday after the government failed to table the report of the Ram Pradhan Committee which inquired into the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
While senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinod Tawde was suspended for three years, his party colleague Arvind Sawant and Shiv Sena’s Diwakar Raote were suspended till the end of their respective terms in the legislative council by deputy chairman Vasant Davkhare.

Another member, BJP’s Sardar Tara Singh, who had occupied the chair of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, apologised to the member for insulting the dignity of the house by his action.

Earlier, both houses of the state legislature witnessed pandemonium after the state government presented only the action taken report (ATR) and not the full findings of the Ram Pradhan Committee which inquired into the Mumbai terror attacks.

Accusing the government of attempting to hide facts, the opposition raised a furore, demanding that the entire panel report and the ATR be tabled in the legislature.

While some members rushed to the well of the council and raised anti-government slogans, some members even went and sat on the chairman’s table and Chief Minister Chavan’s chair.

Following the massive protests by the opposition minutes after the government tabled the ATR, the state council was adjourned for a short while.

After it re-assembled, the opposition continued to disrupt the proceedings and vociferously reiterated its demand for the full report of the panel.

As the members refused to relent, the council deputy chairman finally announced punitive action against the two BJP legislators and one Sena member.

Similar pandemonium was witnessed in the assembly with the opposition members accusing the government of attempting to hide facts. The entire panel report and the ATR must be tabled in the legislature, they demanded vociferously.

The Pradhan Committee report was submitted last fortnight, following which the government had set up a two-member committee - which included chief secretary Johny Joseph and additional chief secretary (home) Chandra Iyengar - to prepare an action taken report (ATR).

This ATR was tabled in the assembly by the government but not the Pradhan Committee report. Earlier, Chavan had assured that the government would table the Pradhan Committee report and the ATR simultaneously in the legislature.

Tuesday is the last day of the legislature’s monsoon-cum-budget session. The government has come under attack from the opposition for not allowing a discussion on the Pradhan Committee report by deliberately tabling it on the final day.

At least 170 people were killed in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai last year.

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