Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar on Wednesday called Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut’s alleged “body of thieves” reference for the legislature “serious” and said he would inquire into the matter.
The speaker adjourned the Lower House for the day after chaos prevailed over the Rajya Sabha MP’s utterance.
Narvekar said he has accepted a notice of breach of privilege against Raut and would give his decision on it on March 8.
Earlier in the day, talking to reporters in Kolhapur, Raut allegedly called the “vidhimandal” (legislature) a “chormandal” (a body of thieves), triggering uproar in the assembly.
Narvekar said the issue is very serious and an insult to the legislature, its members and the people of the state. He said a detailed inquiry was required into the matter.
The speaker said Raut’s remark has hurt the “dignity, sanctity and sovereignty of the house and its members”. He said, “I have the constitutional obligation to protect it.” The issue was raised by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashish Shelar as soon as the House assembled for the day.
“The lawmakers are being called thieves and it is an insult to the state,” he said.
Atul Bhatkhalkar, another BJP legislator, said he has submitted a notice of breach of privilege against Raut and urged Narvekar to admit it.
Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar and Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Balasaheb Thorat also said that such remarks were unacceptable. Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress are allies of the Shiv Sena (UBT).
“There is a need to check what actually has been said. At the same time, everyone should be careful what words are spoken in the House. We have also been called ‘anti-nationals’,” Thorat said.
Protests over Raut’s alleged remark led to four adjournments.
BJP and Shinde-led Sena legislators also trooped into the well demanding Raut’s arrest. After his appeals to the members to go back to their seats went unheeded, the speaker adjourned the house for the day.