Maharashtra legislature to discuss irrigation scam Tuesday

Mumbai, July 29 : Bowing to an aggressive opposition, the Maharashtra government accepted a demand for a debate Tuesday on the Rs.70,000 crore irrigation department scam and revoking the suspension of Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote, an opposition leader.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawade told media persons Monday that the government has agreed to its demand for the irrigation scam debate.

Prior to the debate in the Legislative Council, the suspension of Raote would be revoked, Tawade added, shortly after the twin issues rocked the legislature.

He said that several opposition leaders met Governor K. Sankaranarayanan in Pune Sunday and briefed him about the scam proposal moved in the house.

Tawade claimed that the governor assured to do whatever was necessary and ensure that the opposition's voice was not suppressed.

"Following a meeting today (Monday) with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Council Chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh, and the acceptance of our demands, we have decided to withdraw our protest," Tawade added.

Earlier, the entire opposition staged a sit-in inside the presiding officer's podium to protest against the refusal for a debate on the irrigation scam and also the suspension of Raote.

Finally, after four adjournments as the opposition declined to take part in the proceedings, followed by adjournment for day, a meeting was convened in Deshmukh's chamber which resulted in a solution.

Besides the debate on the irrigation scam, the government has also agreed to revoke the suspension of Raote, till Dec 31, for using "unparliamentary language" in the house last Friday.

However, Tawade said that Raote did not use any such words, but he spoke a bit too loudly in the chairman's chamber but accepted the chairman's decision as it was supreme.

Even in the lower house, the opposition members demanded a discussion on the irrigation scam and revocation of a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena legislator Pravin Darekar, who was suspended along with Raote last week.

After two adjournments, Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil finally adjourned the house for the day.

--IANS (Posted on 29-07-2013)

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