The maiden session of the newly-formed Maharashtra Assembly, which witnessed unruly scenes on the first day, ended with after the Speaker was elected. The winter session will begin on December 8 in Nagpur, was announced on the last. NMTV News Vidhan Bhavan Correspondent Dhiraj Mishra and Chief Cameraman Abhay Prasad were present to capture all the action. In our weekend bulletin today we bring to you all the highlights of the three days of the maiden session of the newly formed Maharashtra Assembly. The maiden session of the 12th Maharashtra Assembly started with the MNS creating a ruckus over Abu Asim Azmi taking oath in Hindi. On the first day of the assembly session, MNS MLAs created a ruckus in the Maharashtra Assembly after Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi took oath in Hindi despite their call that all legislators take the pledge in Marathi, with one of the members from Raj Thackeray’s party slapping him. Soon after Azmi began taking oath in Hindi, the 13 member-strong MNS contingent rushed towards Azmi, snatching the mike placed for taking oath at the podium. MNS members shouted slogans, demanding that Azmi should take oath in Marathi. The House was adjourned for 30 minutes as the pandemonium continued. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil and Energy Minister Ajit Pawar tried to restore calm in the House. Speaking to reporters outside the House, an unfazed Abu Asim Azmi defended his decision of taking oath in Hindi and said he had done nothing to warrant such action by the MNS MLAs. Abu Asim Azmi also demanded suspension of MNS members for the entire five-year term and arrest of Raj Thackeray. But an unrepentant Ram Kadam, Shishir Shinde and Bala Nandgaonkar justified the MS action saying Azmi’s insistence on taking oath in Hindi betrayed his lack of respect for Marathi language and people. FOUR MNS MLAS SUSPENDED FROM MAHARASHTRA ASSEMBLY FOR FOUR YEARS After the entire fiasco inside the house, four MNS MLAs were suspended from the assembly for years. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan made the announcement in the house first and later addressed the media. Post the face off between SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi and the MNS MLAs, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly suspended four MNS members for four years on charges of assaulting Abu Asim Azmi and misbehaving with a woman legislator. The resolution for their suspension, moved by parliamentary affairs minister Harshvardhan Patil, was adopted by a voice vote with Shiv Sena-BJP alliance members abstaining. Stating that hooliganism will not be tolerated, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan addressed the media after suspending the four MNS MLAs. GOVERNMENT TO CHECK VIDEO FOOTAGE OF MNS LEADERS’ SPEECHES The Chief Minister Ashok Chavan also announced that the Maharashtra Government would examine video footage of speeches by MNS leaders to check if they “instigated” party MLAs, leading to the assault on SP legislator Abu Asim Azmi in the Assembly. Prior to the commencement of the first day of the assembly Rak Thackeray had come to visit his MLAs and had a word with him outside Vidhan Bhavan. He reportedly addressed and guided his MLAs on how to react if any MLA took oath in any language other than Marathi. This report has also reached the Chief Minister who did not rule out action against MNS Chief Raj Thackeray saying that action will be taken if the video footage of his reported comments outside the Assembly showed he had instigated his party MLAs. SENA DEMANDS AZMI’S ARREST On the third day, Samajwadi Party legislator Abu Asim Azmi was again in the eye of a storm demanding Abu Asim Azmi be arrested for making remarks against Bal Thackeray. On the second day of the state assembky session Shiv Sena members warned SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi against making remarks against Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray. Abu Asim Azmi will not be allowed to roam around if he dare say anything against Balasaheb said Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde to reporters at Vidhan Bhavan. Earlier in the day, Abu Asim Azmi told reporters that Bal Thackeray had got old and was speaking like child. Infuriated over the remark, Shiv Sena members gheraoed Azmi outside Vidhan Bhavan entrance and asked him to clarify the statement. Here Abu Asim Azmi told Shiv Sena MLAs that he had not said anything against Bal Thackeray. The Shiv Sena warned Azmi that he would face consequences over his remarks against Bal Thackeray and let him off. But later when the Shiv Sainiks found out that Azmi had in fact passed remarks against Bal Thackeray, on the third and final day of the special session, Shiv Sena demanded Azmi’s arrest. Soon after the house assembled, Sena MLAs began shouting slogans and displaying banners against Azmi. The house had to be adjourned three times. Subhash Desai, leader of the Sena in the assembly, said Azmi had hurt the emotions of “lakhs of people”. MNS THREATENS AZMI FOR SPEAKING AGAINST BAL THACKERAY Not just the Shiv Sena but even the Raj Thackeray-led MNS, whose MLAs assaulted SP legislator Abu Azmi in the assembly for taking oath in Hindi, warned Azmi on speaking against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Shortly after Shiv Sainiks gheraoed Azmi in the Vidhan Bhawan premises for his anti-Thackeray remarks, MNS legislators also came out in defence of the 83-year-old Thackeray. MNS group leader in the assembly, Bala Nandgaokar, told reporters that MNS would not tolerate a single word against Balasaheb. They will force Azmi to leave Mumbai if he speaks anything against Thackeray. He said that Bal Thackeray is like god for lakhs of people in Maharashtra and no one would tolerate anything against him. The speaker finally announced an inquiry into Azmi’s comments. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil said the action will be decided by the speaker now. MNS SEEKS REVOKING OF FOUR YEAR SUPENSION OF ITS FOUR MLAS On the last day of the maiden session, the MNS were seen seeking revoking of the four year suspension of its four MLAs. On the last day, the MNS sought revoking of the four year suspension of four of its MLAs, saying it had already apologised for any “disrespect” caused to a woman MLA during Monday’s altercation in the Maharastra assembly but made no mention to the assault on SP member Abu Asim Azmi. Making a statement in the House, MNS group leader Bala Nandgaonkar did not allude to the assault on SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi who was their target for not taking oath in Marathi. MNS is also seeking legal advice over the suspension of MNS MLA. MLA Bala Nandgaonkar said the suspension should be revoked or at least the tenure of suspension reduced. DILIP WALSE PATIL FILES NOMINATION FOR MAHARASHTRA ASSEMBLY SPEAKER During the session, Senior NCP leader Dilip Walse-Patil was elected unopposed as the Speaker in the newly constituted Maharashtra assembly. Election to the post of speaker in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly ended in Vidhan Bhavan on the last day. NCP leader and former finance minister Dilip Walse-Patil who was the nominee of the ruling Congress-NCP combine is the new speaker. Walse Patil’s candidature was supported by Chief Mnister Ashok Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Home Minister R R Patil and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Dy. Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal accompanied Dilip Walse Patil to the Chair of the Speaker. After this Chief Minister Ashok Chavan welcomed Dilip Walse Patil as Speaker of the august House. OTHER HIGHLIGHTS The maiden session of the newly-formed Maharashtra Assembly, which witnessed unruly scenes on the first day, ended with the Governor S C Jamir’s address. Here are the other highlights. The maiden session of the newly-formed Maharashtra Assembly ended with the Governor S C Jamir’s address. The Governor addressed a joint sitting of the 12th legislature today. All the MLAs in the 288-member House were administered oath. The winter session will begin on December 8 in Nagpur, it was announced here. The session also saw BJP’s Eknath Khadse chosen Leader of Opposition in the Assembly. Eknath Khadse was elected earlier during the day in the midst of protest by Shiv Sainiks over Azmi’s arrest. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Dy. Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister congratulated Khade over his nomination following which the New Leader of Opposition addressed the house. Khadse said that he would work in such a way that the rulers will start hating me. This is the first time since their coalition, that the Shiv Sena has lost the post of the Leader of Opposition to the BJP. State Excise and Non Conventional Energy Minister Ganesh Naik and Airoli MLA Sandeep Naik took oath in the assembly. The father-son duo arrived together for the first session of the new assembly at Vidhan Bhavan. Ganesh Naik took the oath with the other top Ministers of the state. On the other hand MLA Sandeep Naik took oath post lunch. Young MLAs, from whom there are sky high expectations, chose to remain silent learners in their debut session. From Amit Deshmukh Praniti Shinde to Prashant Thakur and Sandeep Naik all followed the same strategy. Airoli MLA Sandeep Naik voiced confidence of that the team of young MLAs and senior would spell progress for the state. Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur said that the maiden session was an opportunity for them to learn the working of the house. On the speculations of Babasaheb Kupekar getting upset over not giving him the Speaker post this time round, Ajit Dada Pawar hit at the media for such speculation. The three MPs who dropped in at the assembly and were not gone unnoticed included BJP MP Gopinath Munde and NCP MPs Supriya Sule and Dr. Sanjeev Naik. And the million dollar question was what was Raj Thackeray’s reaction to the whole MNS MLAs assaulting Abu Asim Azmi. No points for guessing that Raj Thackeray was happy.
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