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SRA scam echoes in Maharashtra Council: Ruling MLCs stage walkout, after 'unruly' Oppostion stalls business

In what was perhaps a first in the history of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, members of the ruling party staged a walk out on Wednesday.

File image of Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Accusing the Congress and NCP of repeatedly disrupting the proceedings, the BJP and Shiv Sena decided to protest on Wednesday by leaving the Council.

While the Opposition has 52 members in the Council, the ruling party has only 26 members. The Opposition used its huge numbers advantage to create a ruckus, accusing bureaucrat Radheshyam Mopalwar of being involved in corruption over land transactions and demanding the resignation of housing minister Prakash Mehta. They caused three continuous adjournments.

NCP MLC Kiran Pawaskar, alleging corruption in the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA), called an Attention Motion. Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar attempted to respond to Pawaskar but the Opposition stormed the Well of the House.

Parliamentary affairs minister Girish Bapat, PWD minister and leader of the House Chandrakant Patil, Waikar and other BJP and Shiv Sena members then walked out of the House to protest the Opposition not allowing legislators to speak.

Chandrakant Patil, speaking to Firstpost, said: "Everyone needs to follow the rules. We are a lawmaking body. Opposition have the majority, which is why they are not letting the minister speak. So we walked out. The members of the ruling party will not participate until the Chairman gives us assurances that the Council will function smoothly."

Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde alleged that every day, new scams were being unearthed in the SRA. Munde demanded the resignation of housing minister Prakash Mehta."This is the first time in the history of the Legislative Council that the ruling party has walked out in protest," says Munde. "They had no answers to the questions raised by us. They are trying to crush us. We are against the government's corruption and favouritism."

The House was adjourned three times and in the absence of the ruling party, adjourned for the day. After being cornered by the Opposition, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an inquiry in the alleged irregularity in the SRA project at MP Mills compound in Tardeo, south Mumbai.


Updated Date: Aug 03, 2017 11:36 AM

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