Din in House over Khaunte's arrest

Gomantak Times
Friday, 7 February 2020

The Goa Legislative Assembly was adjourned thrice following protests by Opposition MLAs over the arrest of Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte.

PANAJI: The Goa Legislative Assembly was adjourned thrice following protests by Opposition MLAs over the arrest of Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte.

Speaker Rajesh Patnekar adjourned the house after the Opposition MLAs created uproar over the arrest of Khaunte and rushed to the well of the House. As a mark of protest, the 10 Opposition MLAs also wore black ribbons.

“The incident that has happened last night is most undemocratic. Such an incident happening when the session is going on is most irresponsible is what I feel. As Speaker, we are your children and you are our father in this House. If you don’t protect the interest of the MLAs, then who will do it,” said Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat when the Assembly proceedings began for the day at 11:30 am.

The Speaker informed that prior permission was requested from him as the alleged incident had occurred within the precincts of the House and the same was granted. He also said that whatever he has done is as per the rules.

Kamat also pointed out that senior Congress MLA Pratapsinh Rane was accompanying Khaunte when the alleged incident occurred.

“I am surprised how did you grant permission without holding proper inquiry,” said Kamat.

The Opposition MLAs then rushed to the House to protest, following which the Speaker adjourned the House till 12 noon.

When the Assembly met at 12 noon, the Opposition MLAs continued with their protest and once again the Speaker adjourned the House till 12:30 pm.

When the House met post-lunch at 2:30 pm, the opposition members wearing black ribbons again disrupted the proceedings even as the Speaker read out obituary reference to former Minister Victoria Fernandes. The Speaker also asked Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate to read his congratulatory motion. Monserrate wanted to congratulate former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar for conferring Padma Bhushan posthumously.

The din in the House continued even as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant presented papers and told the Speaker that he will present his State budget at 3 pm. Again at 3 pm, the opposition members continued shouting slogans "shame shame" and again rushed to the well of the House prompting Speaker to warn them.

"Do you want to withdraw from House. I request you to withdraw. I will name you. Senior member Pratapsinh Rane please occupy your chair. If you don't want to attend (session) then boycott," Speaker told opposition members even as Chief Minister continued reading his budget.

The Speaker then ordered eviction of protesting Opposition members who were then physically turned out by the marshal guards on duty.
 

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