Reiterating their demand for a special investigation team probe into the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam, the Opposition parties, on Thursday, disrupted the proceedings of both the Houses of the state legislature for the fourth consecutive day.
As the session began, Opposition leader Eknath Khadse claimed that the government has not responded to their demand for an SIT probe into the alleged scam worth over Rs 70,000 crore. While the speaker urged the Opposition to allow the question hour to be conducted, Opposition leaders including Khadse (Shiv Sena), Suvash Desai (Shiv Sena), Devendra Fadnavis (BJP) and Girish Bapat (BJP) started shouting slogans demanding a probe.
While the treasury benches tried to counter their protests by demanding that the question hour be taken up, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar said that the ruckus in the House has prevented discussions on important issues from the Vidarbha such as the prices of raw cotton, paddy and soya for the last three days.
Sensing the mood of the Opposition benches, the speaker adjourned the House for an hour, the time that was meant for the question hour.
Similar situation prevailed when the House re-assembled. With the Opposition unwilling to take up any discussion before the announcement of an SIT probe, the speaker adjourned the House for 15 minutes and invited the group leaders to his chamber to reach a possible settlement.
The Opposition, however, continued to disrupt the House, prompting the NCP members to troop into the well and shout slogans against the Opposition and in favour of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar. Consequently, the House was adjourned for the day.
Home minister RR Patil said that the Opposition has no interest in discussion on the issue. "We have come here to discuss the issues faced by the backward regions of Vidarbha. But, the Opposition only wants to disrupt the House. They don't want a discussion on irrigation. They just want to target Ajit Pawar using the issue," he alleged.
Public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that there is no system of conditional discussion in the Assembly.
The SIT probe issue also led to the adjournment of the House in the state legislative council.