Mumbai: Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday witnessed a brief verbal duel between deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse over the latter`s "loud tone" on the floor of the House.
Pawar was replying to an issue of shutdown of a power sub-station in Nashik district for the last seven months due to shortage of manpower, during the Question Hour.
The deputy chief minister, who also holds the power portfolio, told the House that the contract to set up a 220 KV power sub-station was given to M/S ECI Shanghai in August 2009 and the actual work costing Rs 2200 crore began in March 2010.
Admitting delay in completion of work, Pawar said the financial condition of the company was not good. He also said that a notice will be served on the company to complete work by December 31, 2012.
Khadse, in reply, asked why no action had been taken against the firm for delaying work for seven months.
"Has penalty been imposed on the company?" the BJP leader said, wondering why the contract with the company has not been scrapped.
Pawar objected to the tone and tenor of Khadse and asked what was his objective in "speaking loudly".
The response rattled the Opposition members who rose to their feet asking Pawar to take back his words.
Khadse said the government should not try to suppress Opposition`s voice.
"My voice is loud and it has been so even before you came into this House," he said looking at Pawar`s direction.
Replying to Khadse, the deputy chief minister said, "We (ruling members) can speak louder and people of this state have heard only our voice".