Five Congress MLAs were suspended for allegedly manhandling Governor Bandaru Dattatreya during the first day of the Budget session of the state Assembly on Friday, reported PTI. They were suspended for the remainder of the session.

The suspended MLAs are Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri and MLAs Sunder Singh Thakur, Harsh Vardhan Chauhan, Satpal Raizada and Vinay Kumar. Speaker Vipin Parmar said that the legislators were suspended on a notice moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj. No Congress MLA was present in the House when the five legislators were suspended.

The Opposition members allegedly tried to stop the governor when he was going towards his cavalcade, accompanied by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Parmar, after addressing the Assembly. The Speaker said the action of the Congress members was against the rules.

The Congress members alleged that the contents of the governor’s address were “a bundle of lies”. They said that the matters pertaining to the increase in the prices of cooking gas, petrol and diesel were not included in the address.

Earlier, the Assembly was adjourned till 2 pm till Monday but was reconvened at 1 pm to consider Bharadwaj’s motion. The Budget session will end on March 20.

As soon as the House had assembled at 11 am, Congress leaders, led by Agnihotri, rose from their seats and shouted slogans. The governor then read the last line of his address and said that the entire speech should be deemed as read.

The parliamentary affairs minister called the alleged manhandling an “attack on the governor”. Bhardwaj said that the incident reflected the frustration of Congress MLAs after the party’s defeat in the recently-concluded panchayat elections.

Chief Minister Thakur condemned the behaviour of the Congress MLAs. He that the incident was uncalled for.