Both Houses of the state legislature were adjourned till Wednesday early on Tuesday following Opposition BJP creating ruckus over the issue of relief to farmers hit by unseasonal rains.
In Legislative Assembly, Sanjay Gaikwad of the Shiv Sena and Abhimanyu Pawar of the BJP were engaged in an ugly spat when the former tried to snatch banners raised by the latter, plunging the House in chaos and forcing the first adjournment within minutes of the proceedings for the day.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Council too, forcing three adjournments before the day’s proceedings were called off till Wednesday.
Amidst the ruckus, Finance Minister Jayant Patil informed the House that the government had made arrangements to pay Rs 6,600 crore to farmers and had already given Rs 3,000 crore to District Collectors. “We have sought Rs 7,000 crore for rain-hit farmers and another Rs 7,000 crore for farmers affected by unseasonal rains from the Center. Those creating ruckus here should go ask the Centre about it,” he said.
During the continued pandemonium, the two MLAs – Gaikwad and Pawar, got into an ugly spat around the banners that depicted Samna editorial demanding relief to farmers. The Speaker, Nana Patole, then adjourned the House for 30 minutes.
No sooner did the House proceedings started, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis again raised the issue of relief to farmers. “You have given a pittance to farmers through supplementary demand yesterday. The Chief Minister had promised Rs 25,000 per hectare. Please don’t ditch the farmers so soon after coming to power. We had given approval to Rs 10,000 crore for farmers’ relief but couldn’t issue the necessary government resolution for it as the government term ended,” Fadnavis said.
“This government is trying to put the onus on Centre. The Centre has its own norms. We never waited for it when in power. Have you declared the aid (Rs 25,000 per hectare) on the basis of help that you expected from Centre,” Fadnavis said.
The Speaker, meanwhile, decided to go ahead with the day’s business despite Opposition BJP members refusing to stop sloganeering. Four Bills, Maharashtra Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti Act, 1961 (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Maharashtra Local Authority Members Disqualification Act 1986 (Amendment) Bill, Bill for Temporary Postponement of Elections of the President, Vice President and Chairman of the Subject Committees of Certain Zilla Parishads and Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Certain Panchayat Samitis on account of ensuing General Elections to State Legislative Assembly and Maharashtra Land Revenue Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019 were passed by the House.
Effectively, the House conducted a business of less than an hour.
In Legislative Council, too, bedlam prevailed throughout the day’s proceedings lasting effectively a little over an hour.
Leader of the Opposition Pravin Darekar moved an adjournment motion in the beginning itself to demand relief to farmers affected by unseasonal rains. He said provision made in supplementary demands were negligible and called for the promise Rs 25,000 per hectare immediately. “Over 1 crore farmers have been affected. They need immediate relief,” he said.
A high-decibel wordy duel ensued between the two sides later as Opposition members entered the Well of the House displaying placards showing Saamna paper’s previous news demanding the relief. The ruling party members tried to snatch the placards from them. Chairman Ram Raje Nimbalkar had to adjourn the House twice during this ruckus.
He later expressed his displeasure over the raising of banners by the Opposition members and called for maintaining dignity of the House. Jayant Patil, meanwhile, assured that the government will not let farmers suffer and that it had already sanctioned Rs 6,600 crore towards relief. “We have sought Rs 14,495 crore from the Centre,” he said, asking Opposition members to co-operate by using their good offices with the Centre instead of creating ruckus.
Nimbalkar later adjourned the proceedings for the day.