It was yet another ‘no show’ in the Maharashtra Assembly on Thursday, when proceedings were disrupted by the Opposition over the irrigation scam probe, prompting the House to be adjourned for the day without transacting much business on the fourth consecutive day of the ongoing Winter session here.
The Opposition on Thursday continued with their demand for a SIT probe into the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam, pushing the House into pandemonium.
After the House condoled the demise of Sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Speaker Dilip Walse Patil took up business but Opposition Leader Eknath Khadse raised the SIT issue following which members including Davendra Phadanvis, Girish Bapat and others began protesting.
Raising slogans against Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, they trooped into the Well of the House.
Soon members of the treasury benches led by Jitendra Awahad and Shashikant Shinde (both NCP) also entered the well of the House and began sloganeering prompting an adjournment for 15 minutes following which the Speaker called the Group leaders to his Chamber for consultations.
When the House re-assembled, Mr. Khadse was at it again. He alleged that the government was trying to suppress the Opposition due to its strength in the House.
Home Minister R.R. Patil countered the Opposition attack saying that they missed a great opportunity of moving a resolution for initiating discussion on irrigation since last night they changed the topic to energy crisis.
“They don’t want a discussion on irrigation but want to target Pawar through energy,” Mr. Patil said.
The minister called for a thorough discussion on the irrigation projects in Maharashtra, particularly Vidarbha.
Amid din, Bala Nandgaonakar (MNS) said there was an urgent need for a debate on irrigation apart from an assurance from the government for setting up a SIT probe.
To which, Panel Speaker Nawab Malik said the government was willing for a discussion on irrigation projects but no one can assure about handing over the scam probe to SIT. But Opposition benches were adamant for a SIT probe.
Gauging the mood of the Opposition, the Panel Speaker adjourned the House for the day.