Gandhinagar, Mar 27 (PTI) In a rare political compromise, the Congress today withdrew its no-confidence motion against Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi while the House, in which the BJP is in majority, reduced the suspension period of three Congress MLAs.
The MLAs will now remain suspended till the end of the budget session tomorrow instead of for varying terms prescribed by the speaker on March 14.
Amrish Der and Pratap Dudhat were suspended for a period of three years while Baldevji Thakor for one year for indulging in violence in the House.
The no-confidence motion, admitted by the 182-member House on March 22, was supposed to come up for discussion and voting on or before March 28, the last day of the session.
Congress leader Shailesh Parmar had filed the no-trust motion application on February 28 with the Assembly secretariat, stating that Trivedi was “acting in a biased manner in favour of the ruling BJP”.
Parmar, also Deputy Leader of Opposition, withdrew the motion today after seeking permission of the House.
Reciprocating the gesture, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel urged the Assembly to allow curtailing of the suspension period of the three Congress MLAs.
Patel then moved a motion proposing that the suspension period of the three legislators be till the end of this budget session only, i.e. March 28. The motion was passed unanimously.
BJP MLA Jagdish Panchal, who had allegedly hurled verbal abuses at Dudhat and Der on March 14, tendered an apology in the House for his behaviour.
Panchal, however, maintained that he never used any abusive or unparliamentary words during the ruckus.
To this, Parmar assured the House that Der, Dudhat and Thakor would also tender apologies during the monsoon session of the Assembly.
Speaker Trivedi thanked Parmar for withdrawing the no-trust motion against him.
Commenting on the Congress’ allegation that he had acted in a biased manner, Trivedi maintained that reality was totally different.
“I always acted in a neutral way. I have the data to prove that I have given more opportunities to the opposition members than the ruling fold to put forward their questions,” Trivedi said after announcing that Patel’s motion was approved by the House.
Given the numerical strength of the BJP (99) and the Congress (77) in the House, the no-confidence motion against the speaker would have been defeated if it were put to vote.
According to sources, backdoor discussions were on between the BJP and the Congress since Der, Dudhat, and Thakor were placed under suspension.
During such discussions, Congress floor leaders had proposed that they would think of withdrawing the no-trust motion against the speaker if the BJP curtailed the suspension period of the MLAs, they said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.