In a major embarrassment for the Shiv Sena, the no-trust motion that it planned to move against the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government was declared lapsed on technical grounds in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil on Wednesday announced that the motion had lapsed as the Sena failed to press for it on the floor of the Assembly within two days of the beginning of the session. According to the rulebook, when a motion is called out in the Assembly, at least 29 legislators need to stand up in the House in its support, following which a discussion on it is scheduled. Joining in the Opposition's protest against home minister RR Patil's remark that the ruling alliance was ready to reply to the Opposition in the legislature and on the streets, the Sena failed to comply with the procedure on Tuesday, the second day of the session.
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties forced adjournment of the Assembly, for the second day in a row, over Patil's remark and later by demanding a probe into the irrigation scam.
Eknath Khadse, leader of the Opposition, demanded an apology from the home minister. Patil, however, refused to tender an apology saying that the Opposition was "frustrated" and was deliberately making it an issue as its no-trust motion had fizzled out. The Opposition members then entered the well of the House and started shouting slogans against Patil and the government.
The speaker assured the Opposition members that he would examine the proceedings and expunge the remark, if found objectionable. Following continued protests, speaker Walse-Patil first adjourned the proceedings thrice. The Opposition then demanded a probe by the special investigation team (SIT) into the irrigation scam that finally led to the adjournment of the House for the day.
Similar scene was witnessed in the legislative council when chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh kept the adjournment motion demanding an SIT probe into the irrigation scam by the leader of the Opposition, Vinod Tawde, and Peasants and Workers Party legislator Jayant Patil pending. The uproar led to the adjournment for 10 minutes and later for the entire day.
The Opposition is likely to raise the irrigation scam issue from Thursday.