Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani and 14 Congress legislators were suspended from the Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday after they demanded a special discussion on protests by government employees, farmers and Anganwadi workers, reported PTI.
Several state government employees in Gujarat have been agitating over a number of problems at a time when Assembly elections are just months away.
On Tuesday, employees of the health department’s Tuberculosis control programme went on strike against the state government for various demands, including permanent employment and salary hike, reported The Indian Express.
On Wednesday, Opposition leader Sukhram Rathva proposed a half an hour session to discuss the strikes led by government employees of various departments. However, the Assembly Speaker Nimaben Acharya refused Rathva’s demand after Mevani and other Congress legislators walked toward the Well of the House and started raising slogans, reported PTI.
“When so many employees of almost all the departments are agitating over their pending issues, why is the Bharatiya Janata Party not ready to hold a discussion in the House?” Deputy Leader of Opposition Shailesh Parmar asked.
Gujarat Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Trivedi proposed suspending the protesting legislators. After majority voted to suspend them, marshals took them out.
“People have issues with the ruling government and they are protesting.” Congress MLA Naushad Solanki told ANI. “When we’re asking for a discussion on it [in the House], BJP is trying to run away from it. They fear that if there’s a discussion, it’ll unmask their truth. So they’ve got us suspended.”
Mevani tweeted that he has been suspended for speaking in support of government employees.
The two-day Gujarat Assembly session commenced on Wednesday. It is the last one before a new House is elected during the polls in December.
Besides the health department employees, transport department workers had gone on a strike on September 19 as they sought their dearness allowances and bonus pending for the last three years, the newspaper reported.
“If our demands are not met, all 45,000 employees in the state transport department will go on an indefinite strike from September 22 midnight,” Gujarat Transport Workers Federation Vice President Bipin Langaria told The Indian Express.
Last week, the Gujarat government had announced pay revisions for police constables, Anganwadi workers, and others after massive protests in August, reported The Hindu.
The government has so far accepted the demands like increasing the salaries of police constables, panchayat secretaries, Anganwadi and ASHA workers.