Independent MLA from Vadgam constituency Jignesh Mevani was suspended for three days from Gujarat Assembly for ‘indiscipline’ and ‘disrespecting the chair’. The Speaker took action against Mevani on December 9, after the MLA suddenly got angry while Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was moving a resolution to celebrate Constitution Day on the first day of the three-day Assembly session.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel followed to speak on the resolution and stated that the idea of celebrating Constitution Day was first floated by PM Narendra Modi while he was CM of the State. Patel added that to honour the Constitution, Modi (then CM) had organised a procession ‘Sanman Yatra’ in 2010 in Surendranagar with a copy of Constitution on a decked-up elephant.
MLA Mevani intervened at this point and said, “And then you fired bullets on Dalits in Thangadh (of Surendranagar district).”
Notably, in September 2012, three Dalit youths were killed in Thangad town of Surendranagar district when police opened fire with AK-47 rifle assault rifle, a case where charges are yet to be filed against the accused, even after six years.
Following Mevani’s comments, Speaker Rajendra Trivedi asked the MLA to not violate the discipline of the House and stated that his statements were being deleted from the records of the Assembly. However, the MLA continued to speak while pointing fingers at the treasury benches of the BJP and said, “You all do not believe in Constitution, you believe in Manusmiriti.”
At this, the Speaker repeatedly warned Mevani of action unless he stopped, but the MLA continued speaking. Following this, the Speaker told Mevani that he will have to be suspended. Mevani responded, “I feel proud to get suspended on this day.”
The Speaker said, “You are proud of this drama and proud to get publicity in media for this.” He further stated that Mevani had ‘disrespected’ his chair and the House by his behaviour.
Mevani was escorted out of the House by marshals thereafter.
Just after Mevani was out of the House, CM Rupani moved a proposal to suspend Mevani for entire session of three days for his ‘intolerable indiscipline’. The proposal was seconded by Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma.
Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani and Congress leaders Amit Chavda, Sailesh Parmar and Naushad Solanki stated that Mevani be suspended for only a day as he is a first-time MLA. However, the Speaker did not allow this and stated if Mevani apologised, it (one-day suspension) may be considered.
Mevani, however, ruled out chances of an apology. In a video that he posted later on Facebook, Mevani stated, “Those who follow the ideals of Ambedkar have the right to talk about Constitution.”