As the 15th Gujarat Assembly met for its first session on December 19 and 20, BJP legislator Shankar Chaudhary was appointed Speaker of the House following a proposal moved by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. While Congress supported the proposal, its senior legislator Shailesh Parmar rued that the ruling BJP did not consult the Opposition for the proposal, which had been the tradition followed for years. However, Parmar’s criticism was negated by BJP legislator and former minister Jitu Vaghani, asking, “Whom could the ruling party have consulted”, as the Congress did not announce a leader in the House. “Perhaps the CM was waiting for the Congress to announce its leader in the House… But you could not announce a name till today (December 20) and therefore the discussion could not have been done.”
In his speech after being elected as the Speaker of 15th Gujarat Assembly, Shankar Chaudhary termed the Vipaksh (Opposition parties) as Sathi Paksh (fellow parties). Chaudhary said, “Instead of Vipaksh, I would say Sathi Paksh…We have positive approach towards strengthening democratic values. And it will take Gujarat further forward.” The Speaker also said that it was the duty of the Speaker’s Chair to provide protection to every member of the House. Chaudhary, however, also stated that it is also the responsibility of all present in the House that the samvaad (dialogue) does not convert into vivaad (controversy).
Ultimatum To Cops
Piyush Patel who was BJP MLA from Vansda constituency of Navsari district in the previous government and lost elections this time gave an ultimatum to police to curb illegal gambling and bootlegging in the taluka. He said if it is not done, local residents would carry out janata raids on such dens. Patel announced this at a public meeting to thank voters at Vansda town on December 18, where he said due to illicit liquor sales and gambling, many families have been affected. On the first phase of voting on December 1, Piyush Patel was attacked by unidentified men and was hospitalised.