Other States

BJP, Sena MLAs trade blows in House

From the headlines: BJP leaders raise slogans and hold up banners showing a Saamana article on compensation for farmers outside Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur on Tuesday.

From the headlines: BJP leaders raise slogans and hold up banners showing a Saamana article on compensation for farmers outside Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: S Sudarshan

Saamana banner on compensation to rain-affected farmers leads to confrontation

MLAs of the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to blows in the Assembly on Tuesday as Opposition members displayed a banner in front of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

BJP MLAs Abhimanyu Pawar and Harish Pimple held up the banner — showing an article from Sena mouthpiece Saamana demanding immediate relief to farmers — in Mr. Thackeray’s face. They also tried to block Finance Minister Jayant Patil while he was speaking.

Angered Sena MLAs rushed to the well, with Sanjay Raimulkar and Nitin Deshmukh of the Sena snatching the banner from the BJP members. This led to a physical confrontation.

As the situation escalated, the Sena’s Bhaskar Jadhav, NCP’s Dhananjay Munde and BJP MLAs Ashish Shelar and Girish Mahajan rushed to separate those involved in the scuffle.

Speaker Nana Patole adjourned the house for 30 minutes, and for a further 10 minutes as senior leaders of both parties were called for a meeting.

After the House reassembled, Mr. Patole called the incident shameful and unfortunate. “I warn you all. This has happened once, but it should not happen twice. The Opposition has a right to raise its demands, but cannot run over someone with a banner,” he said.

Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Mr Thackeray said, “People elect representatives with a hope that they will resolve their problems. This is the first session of the new government. The behaviour of the Opposition is condemnable. I have been raising various issues related to farmers in various capacities. We have come to power with the promise of a loan waiver to farmers.”

He said the government will fulfil the promise. “Those who used to say that they never read Saamana are holding up banners of articles from it. Had they read our paper before, this situation would not have arisen. The Opposition displaying Saamana articles only proves that what the Sena was saying earlier was the voice of the common people,” he said.

Mr. Thackeray said the Central government led by the BJP is holding over ₹15,000 crore from the State, and the Maharashtra BJP should ask its leaders in Delhi to release the money.

Earlier, the BJP kicked off the proceedings of the House demanding ₹25,000 per hectare compensation to farmers affected by unseasonal rains, with Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis proposing an adjournment motion. The BJP MLAs gathered in the well in front of the Speaker, holding up banners. “We only reminded Uddhavji Thackeray about his promise to grant ₹25,000 per hectare. We told the government not to stab farmers in the back,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

Mr. Patil told the House that assistance of ₹6,600 crore has been distributed to farmers, while ₹14,600 crore has been sought from the Centre. “The previous government could not do anything when in power and now as an Opposition it is demanding the same. This is nothing but irony,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:19:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-sena-mlas-trade-blows-in-house/article30333503.ece

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