Nagpur, Dec 17 (IANS) The Maharashtra Assembly on Tuesday witnessed a major scuffle between members of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and ruling Shiv Sena, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house for the day.
Continuing their aggressive stance, BJP members marched to the Legislature building this morning carrying flex posters printed with a ‘Saamana’ report demanding aid of Rs 25,000 per hectare to farmers hit by unseasonal rains and floods, which the Sena had made when it was in alliance with BJP.
Inside the assembly some of the members waved the posters, and at least a couple of BJP legislators rushed towards the Speaker’s podium raising slogans and demanding immediate implementation of the Sena’s earlier demand.
Speaker Nana Patole ordered them to return to their seats to continue with the house proceedings, but they refused to obey.
Just then, at least one Sena legislator rushed towards two BJP members and tried to snatch the posters from them, and the BJP and Sena legislators pushed each other leading to a huge ruckus, slogan shouting and disorder.
BJP’s Ashish Shelar and Girish Mahajan, NCP’s Jayant Patil and Sena’s Eknath Shinde rushed to the scuffling members and intervened to stop them fighting.
The Speaker adjourned the house for 30 minutes, and called both sides for counselling and the need for maintaining the decorum of the house.
“Nothing like this has happened inside the house in decades. Such incidents should not be repeated. Waving the posters inside the house is not allowed. The ruling party and Opposition have the right to argue, but doesn’t mean they can fight like this,” Patole said sternly.
In an apologetic tone, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis assured that such incidents will not recur and urged members from both sides to exercise restraint.
Finance Minister Jayant Patil appealed for calm and sought the Opposition’s cooperation in the house proceedings.
“When you were in power, why didn’t you do it (give relief to farmers), and now suddenly you remember the cause of the farmers,” Patil demanded amid the ongoing ruckus.
Taking a jibe at the Opposition, senior NCP leader Jitendra Awhad said the “real face of the BJP is exposed now and it is clear that without power, they are suffocating like a fish out of water”.
As the BJP members continued their noisy protests, the Speaker adjourned the house for another 15 minutes, but since there was no respite from the ruckus, he finally adjourned it for the whole day.
Later, outside the assembly, Fadnavis and other BJP leaders accused Thackeray government of betraying the cause of the farmers and demanded that the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi immediately announce the Rs 25,000 per hectare compensation which it had promised in its manifesto.
Responding sharply to the Opposition demands, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the government was committed to fulfilling its promises made to the farmers and it will be done.
“If they had read ‘Saamana’ earlier, such a situation would not have arisen… Now they’re forced to read the paper which reflects the sentiments of the masses,” he said.
The CM also said incidents in the house were “condemnable” and urged all members to observe decorum.
This is the second consecutive day the assembly proceedings were disrupted after the first day (Monday) when the Opposition vehemently demanded an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his comments on Vinayak Damodar alias Veer Savarkar.