Suspension of 19 Opposition MLAs in Maharashtra likely to be withdrawn on Wednesdaymumbai Updated: Mar 26, 2017 00:23 IST
NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad, other members of the Opposition, burn copies of the state budget at Vidhan Bhawan(HT FILE )
The suspension of 19 Opposition legislators is likely to be withdrawn on Wednesday, when the budget session of the state legislature resumes after a short break of three days.
The Congress and NCP-led Opposition had boycotted the proceedings of the Assembly from last Monday, following the suspension of 19 of its MLAs for disrupting the budget presentation last Saturday.
Following a series of meetings with the Opposition on Saturday, parliamentary affairs minister Girish Bapat announced in the state assembly that the government could withdraw the suspension by Wednesday.
However, the Opposition announced that it would continue with the Sangharsh Yatra, a state-wide protest for a complete loan waiver for farmers. The protest march was planned by the Opposition parties, following the suspension of the MLAs.
After the Opposition decided to hold the protest from March 29 to April 5, the BJP-led state government seems to have softened its stand, according to a source. It had stalled proceedings of the Assembly for the first two weeks of the budget session, over the loan-waiver issue.
Bapat said in the Assembly on Friday that the role of the Opposition is imperative in the proceedings of the House and government wants them to participate.
According to sources, the government agreed to the revocation of the suspension of the MLAs on the condition of the Opposition helping the government pass the appropriation bill. As the Opposition has the majority in the Upper House, the bill could not be passed without their support and participation. The government put forth the proposal of revocation of the suspension in two phases, which the Opposition opposed.
“The government and particularly chief minister Devendra Fadnavis are adamant on continuing the suspension. They proposed to withdraw the suspension of 12 MLAs next week and the remaining MLAs in the last week,” said a Congress leader, on the condition of anonymity. He said that the Opposition, however, would not withdraw its plan of the Sangharsh Yatra, beginning from Wedensday.
Jayant Patil, NCP group leader, said they were firm on the Sangharsh Yatra and were not interested in withdrawal of the suspension. “Our battle is for the demand of the waiver of the loan. We are not bothered about the suspension and are not participating in the House proceedings even on Wednesday,” he said.