Near-empty treasury benches, some hot debates from the opposition and lighthearted comments marked the day’s proceedings in the Maharashtra State Assembly on Tuesday as NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and BJP stalwart Gopinath Munde celebrated their birthdays in faraway Delhi and Mumbai respectively.
The Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, the deputy chief minister, RR Patil, Jayant Patil, Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, Arun Gujarathi, Raviseth Patil and others left Nagpur by a special plane for Delhi to greet Pawar on his 66th birthday after quitting the winter session of the state Assembly midway.
Along with ministers, almost all the NCP legislators in both the houses have taken the day off. There was a time in the lower house after the lunch break when only two ministers -- one cabinet and another state minister-- were present for replies of queries. This irked the opposition and they compelled to postpone a short notice debate on growing development backlogs of Vidarbha and Marathwada, under the House rule of 101.
Raising the issue, the leader of opposition, Ramdas Kadam condemned the government for its casual approach on the serious issues, like regional imbalance. “It is unfortunate that when we are discussing the backlogs of Vidarbha in Nagpur session, the chief minister, deputy chief minister and his senior ministerial colleagues are missing. They are leaving half way through the session. They have no concern for the common man, no concern for farmers,” he rued and urged the chair for an intervention.
Majority of NCP legislators and minister left for Delhi by a special plane—Kingfisher Airlines—from Nagpur this afternoon after attending the question hour, to greet their leader Pawar.
The chief minister, Deshmukh and deputy chief minister, Patil left for Delhi by the special plane. After greeting their leader, both will participate as special guests in the foundation stone laying ceremony of new Maharashtra Sadan in the union capital. Pawar will lay the foundation stone of the proposed new building.
The foundation stone laying ceremony of the New Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi scheduled on Tuesday coincides with Pawar’s birthday.
The PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal went to Delhi last evening to make the necessary arrangements. Last year, the union Civil Aviation minister, Praful Patel had announced the inauguration of an international flight from Pune on the occasion of Pawar’s birthday.