There was plenty of drama in the Gujarat Assembly on Friday as Congress MLAs were suspended for a day after they protested demanding a discussion on why chikki instead of mohan thal was distributed as prasad at the famous Ambaji temple in North Gujarat. Some Congress members also distributed mohan thal as a mark of protest in the Assembly.
Shri Arasuri Ambaji Mata Devsthan Trust of the Ambaji temple had changed the prasad from mohan thal to chikki earlier this month. A senior official of the trust said they had got instructions to change the prasad. The official, however, did not reveal who asked them to change the prasad. The trust is headed by the Banaskantha collector. Anand Patel is the current collector.
Another official of the temple said that mohan thal has been the prasad of the temple for over 500 years. Ever since the change of prasad, various groups have been protesting the decision.
The issue cropped up in the Assembly on the last day of discussion on budgetary proposals when Congress MLA from the region, Kanti Kharadi, demanded a discussion. However, Speaker Chaudhary denied it.
When the other Congress MLAs began to protest, Chaudhary said, “It seems this is a preplanned strategy for publicity. You do not want to walk out before the resolution against the BBC comes up for discussion. Let AAP MLA Umesh (Makwana) speak.”
When the MLAs disobeyed the Speaker’s instructions and continued to protest and squatted in the well of the House, Health Minister Rushikesh Patel moved a motion to suspend the Congress MLAs for the remainder of the day.
After the MLAs were forcefully escorted out of the House, Chaudhary said, “I had information that the Congress office was used to plan the protest. They were not sure if they wanted to speak for or against the Bill (private member’s resolution against BBC). Hence, they decided to protest and walkout. The office is given to political parties to participate in the working of the Gujarat Assembly and not to work against the rules.”