Gujarat: Leader of opposition Paresh Dhanan suspended for SoU remark

Leader of opposition Paresh Dhanan said in the House that Statue of Unity was made of iron scrap

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File pic of Paresh Dhanani protesting outside assembly

The leader of the opposition party (LOP), Paresh Dhanani, on Wednesday was suspended for a day from the house by speaker Rajendra Trivedi. Dhanani was asked to take back his words on Sardar Patel that he used during the debate in question hour by the speaker and an apology was sought, but the LOP shot down his order. Dhanani was suspended following a proposal moved by the ruling party to the speaker.

This is the first incident in the history of the Gujarat assembly when the LOP has been suspended from the house. Dhanani, while asking a question in question hour of deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, said that the Gujarat government built the SoU by crushing iron scrap collected from all across India. He also alleged that the Gujarat government has committed a sin and insulted Sardar Patel, confining his giant persona in a statue made of crushed iron scrap.

Irked by his comments, BJP members opposed Dhanani and rushed to the well, shouting slogans while Congress members too followed suit. Leader of the house and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani intervened in the issue and said that the Congress could not digest the BJP paying respect to Sardar Patel.

"This is a dishonour to Sardar Patel and he should take back his words with an apology. Gujarat cannot tolerate the insult of Sardar Patel at any cost," Rupani said.

When the speaker asked Dhanani to take back his words, Dhanani, countering the CM's statement said, "Entire cabinet of Gujarat had visited India to collect metal scrap for SoU and that scrap remained unused. The statue was made in China. I would apologise for umpteen times, if I had insulted Sardar by using the word scrap for him. The speaker can check the records of my speech too."

The BJP, disagreeing with Dhanani's reply, sought an apology and members from both sides started hooting and sloganeering against each other. The speaker adjourned the house until the time of question hour.

When the house assembled again, the speaker gave verbatim of Dhanani's speech from the record of the house and asked Dhanani to apologise. However, that too was shot down by the LOP. The members again started hooting and shouting, disturbing the proceedings and the speaker adjourned the house for 45 minutes again.

The ruling party moved a proposal to suspend Dhanani for the day when the house met again. The proposal was passed by the house with majority of votes coming from BJP members and the speaker ruled accordingly.

Ex-min's son detained for protest

Former minister of agriculture in Gujarat Dileep Sanghani's son Manish was detained by the police for staging a protest against Paresh Dhanani over the issue of Sardar Patel. Manish staged a protest and set Dhanani's effigy on fire in Amreli town, Dhanani's hometown and constituency.

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