Nagpur: Both Houses of Maharashtra Legislature were on Tuesday adjourned without transacting much business following a ruckus as former allies Congress and NCP raised the issue of farmers' suicides and drought-like situation in the state's Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.
Later, leaders of the two parties told reporters that they had simply demanded suspension of the Question Hour so that a discussion could be taken up under Rule 57 on the above issues in the larger interest of farmers.
But the ruling alliance is politicising the whole issue and making unnecessary references by claiming that the previous Congress-led coalition government was responsible for the drought and farmers' suicides, NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal alleged.
They said that the ruling alliance could criticise the Congress-NCP government later, but this was not the time for playing a blame game amidst farmers committing suicide. It was unfair on part of the state government to neglect farmers who are in distress, they added.
Congress's Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil alleged that the government was indulging in politics and was not serious about the drought-like situation.
By May and early June, the situation may go from bad to worse. Therefore, a full package for the affected persons should be announced immediately, he said.
Earlier, as soon as the Assembly session began in the morning, Congress group leader Vikhe Patil demanded suspension of Question Hour. But Speaker Haribhau Bagde rejected the notice (under Rule 57) and went ahead with the session. That irked opposition members who entered the well of the House and started raising anti-government slogans.
Chainsukh Sancheti of BJP tried to grill the
opposition saying the situation has arisen due to bad governance during Congress-NCP's 15-year rule. He also virtually held the previous government responsible for farmer suicides.
Amidst a din over the issue, the House was adjourned for 10 minutes.
Later, opposition members led by Vikhe Patil and joined by NCP legislators squatted in the well of the House and kept raising slogans.
As Question Hour was about to end, Bhujbal urged the Speaker to adjourn the House for half-an-hour for holding a discussion on the issues raised by them, to which Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse announced the government's agreement.
The Speaker subsequently adjourned the House for 30 minutes. When the House reassembled, panel Speaker Varsha Gaikwad extended the adjournment for another 30 minutes.
However, as there was no improvement in the situation and the slogan-shouting continued amidst the ruckus, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Legislative Council which was adjourned for the day by Chairperson Shivajirao Deshmukh after six earlier adjournments following uproar over drought and farmers' issues.
No business listed for today could be transacted in the Legislative Council.