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Budget session begins with row over governor’s address: Oppn walk outs, Fadnavis apologises

Opposition parties protest for not getting Marathi translation of governor’s address on headphones; CM apologises for goof-up

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2018 15:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,budget session
Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao addressed a joint session of members from both Houses in English, on Monday.(HT File Photo)

The state legislature’s budget session began with a row on Monday, as the Opposition staged a walkout for not getting a Marathi translation of the governor’s address on their headphones. Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao addressed a joint session of members from both Houses in English.

Soon after the governor began his speech in the central hall, members of the Opposition started complaining that they were not getting a Marathi translation of his speech on their headphones. By the time school education minister Vinod Tawde rushed to the translation room and started reading the Marathi version of the speech, the Opposition had staged a walkout, condemning the goof-up.

The state legislature secretariat failed to make appropriate arrangements, despite directives from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself, who later apologised for the mistake and said that the government would hold an inquiry into the issue.

In his speech, Rao talked about the BJP-led government’s various initiatives and schemes across sectors, and expressed satisfaction over the disbursement of loan waiver to farmers.

The government has prioritised the completion of irrigation projects, he said, adding that another 5.56 lakh hectares of land would get irrigated once the ongoing projects are completed over the next two years.

“The state has completed building more than three lakh km of roads, of the targeted length of 3.37 km under the Road Development Plan 2001-21. We have also converted 15,404 km of state highways into national highways,” the governor said in a speech that lasted for more than 40 minutes. “To facilitate faster construction of the Mumbai-Nagpur highway, it is being implemented through a special purpose vehicle,” he said, claiming that it was “gratifying” to know that farmers were coming forward willingly to give away their land for the project.

Rao also touched upon the construction of an equestrian statue in the Arabian sea, for which the process of awarding the contract was in the final stages.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 15:00 IST