BJP-Congress members exchange slaps and kicks

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BJP has registered an official complaint with the Assembly Speaker seeking disciplinary action against the Congress MLA for the assault.

The three MLAs were asked not to enter the Assembly premises during their period of suspension.

The proceedings in the House took a violent turn after Question Hour, when Congress MLA from Khambhalia, Vikram Maadam, sought to speak on the deaths of two children at Asaram's ashram in Ahmedabad.

According to party sources, soon after the Speaker announced dismissal of Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and S A Sampath Kumar and suspension of 11 others, the Congress MLAs had a brainstorming meeting at the CLP meeting hall to decide their future course of action.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has condemned the incident and slammed Congress leaders for creating chaos in the assembly.

Speaker Rajendra Trivedi strongly reprimanded the legislators, calling their act hooliganism, and said the stiff punishment was aimed at setting a deterrent to such behaviour. "Today is a blot in the history of the Gujarat Assembly", he said.

Speaker Trivedi barred Madam from raising the point of order and asked him to take his seat nearly 26 times. When BJP's Jagdish Panchal asked the Congress leaders to remain silent in the Assembly, Dudhat allegedly attacked him with a rod attached to a microphone.

The speaker ruled that such point of order - as sought by Madam - can not be raised. However, Madam refused to give in and other legislators from his party, Ambrish Der and Virji Thumar, rushed towards the well of the House. The Speaker first warned them to return to their respective seats, and then suspended them from the House. Later, Dudhat claimed he lost his cool after Panchal used unparliamentary language and invoked names of his mother and sister.

The Congress is making its presence felt in the House now that it has 78 members, its highest count in over 20 years. Congress MLA Pratap Dudhat was suspended for the entire session. The Speaker then adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

Sanghvi said he ran towards the Opposition benches to save his fellow BJP MLAs and to stop the situation from worsening.

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