Maharashtra budget session: Governor’s speech lost in translation
The state legislature’s budget session began with a row on Monday, as the Opposition staged a walkout for not getting Marathi translation of the governor’s address on their headphones as governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao addressed a joint session of members from both the houses in English.
Soon after Rao began his speech in the central hall, members of the Opposition started complaining that they were not getting 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.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is learnt to have been livid with the faux pas.
“What happened is condemnable and I apologise for this. There will be an inquiry into how this happened and by the end of the evening someone will be asked to go home for dereliction of duty,” Fadnavis told the state assembly.
The state legislature secretariat failed to make appropriate arrangements, despite directives from Fadnavis, who later apologised for the mistake and said the government would hold an inquiry into the issue.
Later in the day, governor Rao wrote a letter to the chairman of the legislative council and speaker of the assembly directing to conduct a probe into the goof-up and take strict action against the officials responsible.
The Opposition, while cornering the state government for the goof-up alleged that they heard the Gujarati version of the governor’s speech on their headphones. Tawde, while ridiculing the claim, said the opposition was trying give the issue a different turn. “There was no question of the Gujarati translation (being) played in the system. The opposition has been alleging about the Gujarati translation with malafide intention,” he said.
The legislature secretariat, the parliamentary affairs department and the publicity department were involved in organising a translator for the governor’s speech.
The officials could not ensure that the translator, who is also a news reader on Sahyadri channel of Doordarshan, reached the designated room to read the translated version. The translator was not allowed to enter the central hall for want of the due pass. The officials concerned are expected to face action.
While a blame game has been on between these three departments since the goof-up on Monday morning, many in the government feel that the buck should stop with the legislature secretariat.
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.
Rao said the government has been laying the network of Metro rail costing Rs1 lakh crore in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Nagpur and Pune. He said that the Mumbai Transharbour Link, estimated to cost Rs17,843 crore, will provide direct access to Navi Mumbai Airport. The governor said that the government will soon begin construction of the state’s first marina at Belapur in Panvel creek.
Rao also touched upon the construction of an equestrian statue in the Arabian sea, for which the process of awarding the contract is in the final stages.
The governor said that The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 has had a salutary effect on the sector, helping increase transparency. “Till mid-February, 15,339 real estate project certificates and 12,702 real estate agent registration certificates have been issued. More than 800 complaints have been addressed,” he said.