Mumbai: Opposition legislators on Monday stalled the proceedings in the Maharashtra Assembly, accusing the ruling Congress-NCP of "suppressing their voice", leading to the House being adjourned for the day.
Immediately after the day's proceedings began, Opposition legislators began shouting noisy slogans, and rushed to the well of the House, alleging that the government was suppressing their voice. The agitated members protested against the way MNS MLA Pravin Darekar was suspended for a year from the House, for using "abusive" language in the House.
Speaker Dilip Walse Patil asked the opposition members to resume their seats. However, they were adamant, and instead, asked the Speaker to allow the Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse to speak. "The Leader of Opposition has the right to speak, and he would be allowed to speak, but before that, you should take your seats," the Speaker said.
The Opposition legislators were in no mood to budge and went on with slogan shouting. The Speaker then adjourned the House till the end of the Question Hour. When proceedings resumed, the Opposition legislators continued with slogan shouting, some of them rushing to the well. Deputy speaker Vasant Purke allowed Khadse to speak. Khadse flayed the government over the manner in which the MNS MLA was suspended.
"Darekar did not utter any such remark but still he was punished. This is part of a conspiracy," the senior BJP leader said. Khadse sought CCTV footage of the incident and demanded that Darekar's suspension be revoked. "If Congress MLA Baba Siddiqui, who was so far from Darekar, could hear what the MNS MLA said, then surely it must have been captured by the CCTV cameras in the House," he said.
"The whole attempt is to ensure that a debate on irrigation scam does not take place," Khadse said. "Where have the Rs 70,000 crore (in irrigation projects) gone," he asked. As the opposition legislators continued their noisy protest, Purke adjourned the House for half an hour. When the proceedings resumed, NCP MLA Nawab Malik and Congress MLA Virendra Jagtap objected to certain remarks made by the leader of Opposition. This was met with loud protests from the opposition legislators.
As the noisy scenes continued, Purke adjourned the House for the day.