Maharashtra House adjourned amid din on SIT probe into irrigation scam

Proceedings were disrupted by Opposition over irrigation scam probe in Maharashtra Assembly, House was adjourned for day without transacting much business on fourth consecutive day of Winter session.

Nagpur: It was yet another `no show` in the Maharashtra Assembly on Thursday, when proceedings were disrupted by the Opposition over the irrigation scam probe, prompting the House to be adjourned for the day without transacting much business on the fourth consecutive day of the ongoing Winter session here.
The Opposition today continued with their demand for a SIT probe into the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam, pushing the House into pandemonium.

After the House condoled the demise of Sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Speaker Dilip Walse Patil took up business but Opposition Leader Eknath Khadse raised the SIT issue following which members including Davendra Phadanvis, Girish Bapat and others began protesting.

Raising slogans against Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, they trooped into the Well of the House.

Soon members of the treasury benches led by Jitendra Awahad and Shashikant Shinde (both NCP) also entered the well of the House and began sloganeering prompting an adjournment for 15 minutes following which the Speaker called the Group leaders to his Chamber for consultations.

When the House re-assembled, Khadse was at it again. He alleged that the government was trying to suppress the Opposition due to its strength in the House.

Home Minister R R Patil countered the Opposition attack saying that today they missed a great opportunity of moving a resolution for initiating discussion on irrigation since last night they changed the topic to energy crisis.

"They don`t want a discussion on irrigation but want to target Pawar through energy," Patil said.

The minister called for a thorough discussion on the irrigation projects in Maharashtra, particularly Vidarbha.

Amid din, Bala Nandgaonakar (MNS) said there was an urgent need for a debate on irrigation apart from an assurance from the government for setting up a SIT probe.

To which, Panel Speaker Nawab Malik said the government was willing for a discussion on irrigation projects but no one can assure about handing over the scam probe to SIT.

But Opposition benches were adamant for a SIT probe.

Gauging the mood of the Opposition, the Panel Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier, when the House assembled today, Dilip Walse Patil called for Question Hour but it was lost as the Opposition Leader was on his feet slamming the government for not responding to their demand for a SIT probe into the irrigation scam.

Khadse was joined by Subhash Desai (Sena), Phadanvis (BJP), Bapat (BJP) and Nandgaonkar (MNS) among others.

Speaker urged the Opposition leaders to allow the Question Hour as per the agenda of the day, but Opposition members refused to budge.

They started shouting slogans, demanding a SIT probe. The treasury benches too tried to counter the protests and demanded that the Question Hour be taken up.

However, when the opposition did not relent, the Speaker adjourned the House for one hour, resulting in loss of the Question Hour.

In the Legislative Council too, disruption seemed to be order of the day and proceedings were adjourned amid sloganeering between Opposition and Treasury benches.

After discussion on the Indu Mill land, the Question Hour was taken up. But Opposition stuck to it guns on the SIT issue and wanted an immediate announcement before the Speaker took up any other business.

Today, the NCP contingent was aggressive and was seen countering the Opposition onslaught by asking them to have a look at the white paper. Members Vivek Pandit, Vidya Chavan, Prakash Binsale, and others were on their feet trying to score a point over the Opposition.

Amid slogan shouting, Deputy Chairman Vasant Davkhare adjourned the House for ten minutes at 2 pm. The House reassembled at 2.10 pm and Dy Chairman took up laying of Bills while Opposition members trooped into the well.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Vinod Tawde stood up to clarify the Opposition stance. But Vinayakrao Mete of NCP raised Point of Order.

However much of what he spoke was lost in din as Opposition members insisted on the SIT probe issue and only thereafter discussion can be taken-up.

Mete sought to read out from Legislative Council Rule Book and read out Rule 289 on which Opposition is demanding adjournment of House proceedings.

But as ruckus continued, Dy Chairman adjourned the House for the day. This is the fourth day in succession when the House has not been able to transact the entire listed business. Much of the calling attention motions, most of them about problems in Vidarbha, were deferred, as the House was adjourned post Question Hour.


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