Legislators of the ruling Shiv Sena and ally-turned-foe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) brawled in the well of the legislative assembly in Maharashtra on Tuesday morning.
The legislators nearly came to blows on the issue of farmers after the BJP’s members of legislative assembly (MLAs) raised a large banner that had a printed copy of the front page of the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana.
It had a report about the promise of a loan waiver by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The BJP took up the issue of farmers as soon as the Lower House convened in the morning and the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said his party had moved adjournment motion over compensation for farmers affected by unseasonal rains.
HT had reported earlier that the BJP would move its attention from Veer Savarkar to farmers to corner the government.
“We want the work of the House to be suspended for the day and discussions must start on the issue of granting Rs 25,000 per hectare compensation to farmers affected by unseasonal rains,” said Fadnavis.
Speaker Nana Patole’s response was drowned in slogans by the BJP’s legislators. When Patole refused the motion saying it did not conform to the rules, the BJP’s legislators moved into the well of the House to protest.
As they started unfurling the Saamana banner, the Speaker stopped them as he asked the names of legislators who were doing it to be recorded. As the banner was unfurled, the Sena MLAs moved in the well and started shouting at their BJP counterparts.
Two MLAs – Nitin Deshmukh (Shiv Sena) and Harish Pimpale (BJP) – both from Akola, nearly came to blows. Senior party leaders from both sides like the BJP’S Ashish Shelar and Sena’s Bhaskar Jadhav intervened to stop the situation from getting uglier.
After this, the House was adjourned for half an hour.
The speaker deferred the calling attention motion after the House reconvened. The business of the day—clearing four bills—was then pushed through amidst sloganeering by the opposition.
The winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly had begun on a chaotic note on Monday in Nagpur as the controversy over former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on VD Savarkar dominated the proceedings.
The BJP’s legislators had worn caps with ‘I am Savarkar’ written in Marathi on them on Monday as they arrived for the winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly in Nagpur to protest Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remark against VD Savarkar.
In a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for demanding an apology for his ‘Rape in India’ remark, Gandhi on Saturday said, “My name is Rahul Gandhi, not Rahul Savarkar. I will never apologise for speaking the truth and nor will any Congressman.”
Both the Houses of the state assembly were hit by the protests.