Deadlock on suspension intensifies
The deadlock over the suspension of five Shiv Sena and four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators continued as the Opposition boycotted the state budget session proceedings on Friday.mumbai Updated: Mar 26, 2011 01:07 IST
The deadlock over the suspension of five Shiv Sena and four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators continued as the Opposition boycotted the state budget session proceedings on Friday.
Legislators Vinod Ghosalkar, Pratap Sarnaik, Eknath Shinde, Vijay Shivtare and Ravindra Waikar from the Shiv Sena and Girish Mahajan, Sardar Tara Singh, Vijay Deshmukh and Harish Pimpale from the BJP were suspended on Thursday for breaching rules.
They have been accused of disturbing state finance minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the deputy chief minister, when he was presenting the budget on Wednesday. The suspension will be in place until December 31.
The ruling coalition carried on with the day’s proceedings even as Opposition members sat on the Vidhan Bhavan entrance steps and hooted the government. Their slogans and placards targeted Pawar and his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) colleagues.
Senior leaders from both sides held marathon meetings with speaker Dilip Walse Patil, who initiated to broker the peace between the two.
The talks proved futile because the Opposition wanted the government to revoke suspension immediately and also appoint MLAs on local committees that provide financial aid to the destitute and widows.
Another negotiation meeting will be held on Monday.
State BJP president and MLA Sudhir Munganttiwar blamed Pawar for stretching the matter.
“The Congress legislators and chief minister (Prithviraj Chavan) are willing to take a lenient view. But Pawar has made this a prestige issue.”
Pawar’s close aide and water resources minister Sunil Tatkare dismissed Munganttiwar’s charge.
“Pawar has nothing to do with this. The suspension was a collective and correct decision,” Tatkare said.
But a highly-placed source in the NCP said that Pawar did not like the Opposition’s show on the budget day.
“It was his first budget as the finance minister and he did not expect such a humiliating treatment. He has decided to treat the Sena-BJP alliance in the same vein and expects Congress to toe his line.”
Addressing the Assembly on Friday, Chavan shied away from making any assurance on revoking the suspension.
He told the Assembly that it should deliberate and then take a proper decision. Senior Opposition member Ganpatrao Deshmukh (Peasants and Workers Party) requested the government to go soft on the suspended members.
Opposition leader in the Assembly, Eknath Khadse threatened to boycott the remaining days if the suspension was not revoked by Monday.