Mumbai: The two Houses of Maharashtra Legislature were adjourned for the day on Monday amid frequent disruptions and adjournments over Maharashtra Deputy Chief MInister Ajit Pawar`s remarks on load shedding and water scarcity in the state.
Pawar came under fire in the Legislative Assembly for his comments, with the Opposition demanding that he step down instead of just tendering an apology.
The Lower House had to be adjourned five times before being adjourned for the day after the presiding officer Nawab Malik rushed through the day`s business.
Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse said ridiculing drought affected people and then apologising will not do. "Pawar has to go. He is unfit to be in his present ministerial position. His comments were unbecoming of a cultured person," Khadse said.
Earlier, after the Lower House re-assembled following the fifth adjournment of 15 minutes, BJP legislators Nana Patole and Yogesh Sagar climbed the Speaker`s podium demanding that the Opposition`s adjournment notice regarding Pawar`s comments be taken up for discussion.
Presiding Officer Nawab Malik said Pawar apologised for his remarks and the notice has been rejected by the Speaker and hence the issue cannot be raised in the House.
Opposition members were in the well shouting slogans against the Deputy CM and demanding his resignation.
Khadse criticised the chair for stiffling the Opposition voice and rushing through the day`s business.
The budgetary demands for water resources, rural development, water conservation, water supply and cleanliness, minority welfare were passed amid noisy scenes.
The state Legislative Council also saw seven adjournments before being adjourned for the day.
In the Upper House also, the Opposition members demanded a debate on the issue. State Home Minister RR Patil opposed the demand saying Pawar had apologised for his remarks and clarified his stand.
"If there is no water in the dam...Should we urinate into it?," Ajit Pawar had said in an insensitive comment at a function at Indapur near Pune that kicked up a controversy in the state reeling under severe drought.
The NCP leader followed it up with another remark poking fun at load-shedding in the state, saying, "I have noticed that more children are being born since the lights go off at night. There is no other work left then."