Maharashtra Speaker faces no-trust move by opposition

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Mumbai, March 5 (IANS) For the second time in two years, the Maharashtra opposition parties on Monday gave notice to bring in a no-confidence motion against Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade, alleging “partisanism”.

At least 24 members of the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and other parties have submitted the notice, accusing the Speaker of favouring the ruling party in the House.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil claimed that opposition members are not being allowed by the Speaker to raise issues or speak on major concerns affecting the people of the state.

“It is the job of the Speaker to allow opposition members to speak and enable them to highlight the issues affecting the common man. The Speaker belongs to the House and not to the ruling party. However, Bagade has flouted constitutional norms by allowing the government to avoid debates,” Vikhe-Patil alleged.

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Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar alleged that the government is attempting to “crush the voice of opposition members” and democracy is being reduced to ‘thokshahi’ (mobocracy).

“As elected representatives of the people, we attempt to raise issues pertaining to the state, but injustice is being meted out by the Speaker which is ‘murder’ of democracy,” Pawar said.

Vikhe-Patil and Pawar listed issues like discussion on the Governor’s speech, the problems of farmers, the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorms in the state, and other topics on which, they said, the Speaker did not permit them to speak in the House.

Pawar added that instead of allowing discussions on such crucial matters since the past one week in the ongoing Budget Session, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine is deliberately running away from debate by repeated adjournments of the House.

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Vikhe-Patil said the BJP-Sena government has crossed all limits and instead of conducting legislature proceedings in a responsible manner, a senior leader even lunged at an opposition member in the Legislative Council.

The opposition leaders plan to call on Governor C.V. Rao soon and apprise him of the issue, they said.

–IANS

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