NCP blocks debate on irrigation scamhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ncp-blocks-debate-on-irrigation-scam/

NCP blocks debate on irrigation scam

Leader of Opposition in the state council Vinod Tawde’s attempt to discuss the irrigation scam was thwarted by NCP members Wednesday,saying the matter was sub-judice.

Leader of Opposition in the state council Vinod Tawde’s attempt to discuss the irrigation scam was thwarted by NCP members Wednesday,saying the matter was sub-judice.

BJP,Shiv Sena and Peasants and Workers Party members said NCP was trying to protect water resources minister Sunil Tatkare by blocking the debate.

While Tatkare said he was ready for a discussion,NCP MLCs created a ruckus when he started reading an interim HC order in the case issued on June 24.

They argued the matter was sub-judice and asked chairman of the council Shivaji Deshmukh to disallow Tawde from speaking on the issue.

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After three adjournments,Deshmukh said he had sought expert advice and would decide on the discussion Thursday.

Arguing that the court order was on the internet and in public domain,Tawde insisted he be allowed to read it.

The order says Tawde wrote to Madhav Chitale,chairman of a state-appointed special committee to investigate the alleged scam,on February 27 “indicating he was desirous of submitting certain material regarding irregularities in implementation of irrigation projects”.

Tawde claimed the order stated that while judges found considerable substance in his allegations and sought examination,Chitale told him the terms of reference of his committee did not include probing charges.

He said,“The court order states considering ‘The nature of allegations of irregularities and misappropriation raised in this PIL and the issues sought to be raised by the Leader of the Opposition,we are of the view that it would also be open to the Governor of Maharashtra to consider whether he would like to appoint two or three members in the said Special Enquiry Committee constituted by the government of Maharashtra… and whether he would like to have any further terms added to the terms of reference of the Special Enquiry Committee’.”

NCP MLCs said mention of the Governor’s character and conduct was prohibited in the House.

Tawde argued: “My reading the order does not interfere with court proceedings or judgment. Neither am I making any comment on the governor’s character or conduct. This is a clear case of NCP trying to stall a House discussion on large-scale corruption in irrigation in Maharashtra.”

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