The last day of the three-week winter session of the state Legislature witnessed chaos and repeated adjournments over the Supreme Court’s adverse remarks against former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for shielding the moneylender father of a party legislator.
Opposition leader in the Assembly Eknath Khadse on Thursday insisted that the state government reply to the Supreme Court’s remarks.
On Tuesday, the apex court had pulled up Deshmukh, who is now a Union minister, for preventing the police from registering a criminal case against Gokulchand Sananda, the father of Congress legislator from Buldhana, Dilip Sananda, and imposed Rs 10 lakh fine on the state government.
Gokulchand was accused of charging farmers in the suicide belt of Vidarbha very high interest on loans. The apex court also upheld the Bombay High Court’s verdict that Deshmukh was guilty of protecting Gokulchand from arrest.
Khadse demanded that Deshmukh resign immediately and the fine be recovered from him. Parliamentary affairs minister Harshavardhan Patil said the government will only be able to make a statement on the issue when it gets a certified copy of the court order.
This led to an uproar and Opposition members shouted slogans and trooped into the well of the house. Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Devendra Fadnavis said the judgement available on the Supreme Court’s official website. The Opposition insisted on a statement from the government and continued protests with slogans and banners. The Speaker had to adjourned the House twice.
Khadse pointed out that Deshmukh, by helping Sananda’s father, had violated the oath of not favouring anyone. “Several farmers from Vidarbha have committed suicide because of harassment from private moneylenders and it is a shame that the head of the state tried to bail out such people,” Khadse said.
Patil said the state would seek an opinion from the advocate general after receiving the certified copy of the judgement and then make a statement.