'Paper' politics keeps Maharashtra legislature aflush
Maharashtra's "paper" politics on the alleged irrigation department scandal continued Thursday as two more documents claiming to reveal the truth were presented here.
The Nationalist Congress Party, whose member, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, has been targeted in the alleged controversy, came out with a "Truth Paper" on the irrigation department.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine immediately countered it with its own "Attack on Truth Paper" and challenged the NCP's claims.
The developments follow last month's official "White Paper" brought out by the Maharashtra government on the controversial irrigation scam followed by a "Black Paper" brought out by the opposition and some social activists.
The NCP's Home Minister R.R. Patil also launched a direct attack on the BJP, saying the party did not want its leaders to be exposed in the irrigation scandal and was disrupting the proceedings of the ongoing winter session of the state legislature here.
Patil demanded that when the total irrigation projects taken up in the past decade or so were worth Rs.30,500 crore, on what basis the opposition was claiming a scandal worth Rs.70,000 crore.
"This is nothing but misinformation and attempting to mislead the people of the state. They (the opposition) should apologise to the public for this," Patil said grimly.
Leader of Opposition in the council Vinod Tawade of the BJP hit back by saying that the "Truth Paper" gives only half the facts and was actually a "lie paper".
As the allegations were being hurled, the state legislature was adjourned for the fourth consecutive day Thursday without transacting any business since the opposition parties stuck to their demand of appointing a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the irrigation department controversy.
The two-week long winter session started here Monday, preceded by a boycott of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's customary session-eve tea party on Sunday.
Barring the obituary references and some other issues, the houses have virtually remained non-functional with processions, walk-outs, disruptions and adjournments.