GANDHINAGAR, MARCH 16. The suspension of the Congress MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly was withdrawn today with the members expressing regret for their behaviour inside and outside the House on Tuesday.
As soon as the House assembled today, the Speaker, Mangaldas Patel, told the treasury benches that the suspended members had expressed regret and, hence, he wished that their suspension order be withdrawn. Accordingly, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ashok Bhatt, moved a motion seeking the withdrawal of the suspension. It was seconded by the Finance Minister, Vajubhai Vala, and was passed. The House functioned normally the entire day without any further tussle between the treasury and the Opposition benches.
Formula for truce
A compromise formula was apparently worked out at a meeting between the leaders of the ruling and the Opposition benches last night. But both sides today claimed that the initiative came from the other side. The Leader of the Opposition, Arjun Mothvadia, claimed that the BJP leadership had realised the "mistake" of suspending him on a "flimsy ground," which led to unruly scenes and the suspension of the entire Opposition. He said the Congress chief whip was approached last night by some ruling party leaders, who showed readiness for a compromise if the Opposition members tendered an apology to the Speaker for their misbehaviour.
Mr. Bhatt, on the other hand, claimed that the Congress, at present re-enacting the Dandi March to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the historic non-violent event led by Mahatma Gandhi, realised the mistake of perpetuating violence in the Assembly premises yesterday. He said the Congress leaders and its MLAs called on the Speaker in his chamber this morning and tendered an unconditional apology and requested him to get their suspension withdrawn. Two Congress members tendered a personal apology for their alleged attempt to attack the Education Minister, Anandiben Patel, inside the House.
Pandemonium broke out in the Assembly on Tuesday when Mr. Modhvadia refused to either withdraw his remarks or apologise to the Education Minister against whom he allegedly used unparliamentary language.