Gujarat Speaker tells Cong MLA he is not in Pak House, sparks ruckus

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Gujarat Assembly (File Photo)

Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on Friday told a Congress MLA who displayed a banner against the new citizenship law — written in his own blood — that he was not “sitting in Pakistan Parliament”, inviting strong objections from the Opposition and leading to the adjournment of Assembly proceedings for 15 minutes.

The House had met for a day when a resolution to support the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was moved by Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja. The resolution was passed by the majority amid opposition from the Congress.

Congress MLA from Jamalpur constituency, Imran Khedawala, displayed the banner that said, “Boycott CAA, NRC, NPR”, to which the Speaker reacted with the comment that was strongly objected to by senior Congress MLA and party state party chief Amit Chavda and other party MLAs. Khedawala displayed the banner from his seat when BJP MLA Naresh Patel was speaking during the discussion on the resolution. On seeing the banner, the Speaker said, “Respected Imranbhai, we are not in Pakistan.”

In protest, Chavda said, “The post of Speaker is respected and supreme. But the member of the House is also elected; he also has a right... But the words that you use...”

At this point,Trivedi cut Chavda short and said, “Which words? Imranbhai is not sitting in the Parliament of Pakistan.” “I have respect for Imranbhai and he has for me. If he says that he felt bad, then I will express regret,” Trivedi said.

To this, Khedawala gestured indicating that he did not feel bad. Following this, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel stood up and said that the Speaker had said nothing wrong. “This is not Pakistan. This is Gujarat. This is India,” the Deputy CM said.

The comment invited agitated reactions from Congress MLAs led by Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani. The Speaker then adjourned the House proceedings for 15 minutes. Earlier, the House saw heated debate over the resolution. Several BJP MLAs spoke in support of the CAA and the resolution. However, Congress MLAs strongly opposed the resolution, saying that it is against the principles of secularism.