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The Congress and NCP on Saturday adopted a novel method to protest against the government in the state legislative assembly. They played clash cymbals (taal)disrupting the budget presentation of state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. The opposition members walked into the well of the House equipped with the “taal” and raised their demand for crop loan waiver. They flashed banners. The repeated warning from the Speaker Haribhau Bagde went unheeded as senior leaders of both the parties refused to listen to the budget speech.
The scenario in the state council was no different as members created a pandemonium even as the budget speech was being read by the Minister of State Deepak Kesarkar. Opposition leader in the assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said,“We wanted the government to assure us about the crop loan waiver. But despite our repeated demand they did not give categorical assurance on crop loan waiver.”
Reacting to the opposition’s conduct, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said,“They made a mockery of democracy. The budget was for farmers. By disrupting it they have insulted the farmers and the people of Maharashtra.”
However, a section of leaders within the Congress appeared unhappy in the council. A senior leader said,“Disrupting the state budget which was agriculture oriented has shown us in poor light. Instead, we should have participated and debated the issue to expose the government’s shortcoming in the session.”
The members led by Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde had trooped into the well as soon as Kesarkar started reading the budget speech. The legislators were demanding the immediate announcement of loan waiver and taunted the government representatives coming back empty handed from their visit to Delhi.
Fadnavis had on Friday led a delegation of Sena ministers to meet the Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to apprise him about the farm sector crisis.
The legislators continued to raise slogans to disrupt the House. The MoS, meanwhile, remained unfazed and continued to read out the speech without a break. The opposition legislators continued to shout slogans for 90 minutes. They also frequently broke out into devotional songs like Raghupati Raghav.