Mah Council stalled over farmers' suicides

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Nagpur, Nov 22 (UNI) The proceedings of the Maharashtra Legislative Council were stalled during a special sitting here today as the opposition demanded that farmers' suicides be taken up for discussion before any other issue.

The opposition members were demanding that farmers' suicides be discussed before a resolution on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee, sought to be moved by Fauzia Khan (NCP), which was the only item on the agenda for the special sitting. A major part of the two-and-a-half hours allotted for the meeting witnessed noisy scenes in the House, and Ms Khan could only initiate the discussion on her resolution before the time ended.

Immediately after the House convened this morning for the special sitting, Nitin Gadkari (BJP) raised a point of order expressing surprise that a discussion on farmers' suicides had been given a lower priority on the agenda for the day. This triggered noisy scenes, forcing Chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.

When the House convened again, Deputy Chairman Vasant Davkhare, who took the chair, ruled that the special sitting had been convened by the Chairman in the exercise of his prerogative, and a discussion on farmers' suicides would be held later. This caused resentment among opposition members, who rushed into the well of the House raising slogans, forcing Mr Davkhare to adjourn the proceedings three more times.

Madhukar Sarpotdar (Shiv Sena) raised a point of order and sought the Chair's permission to table a no-confidence motion against the Chairman. However, Mr Davkhare disallowed the notice, saying it had been agreed between ruling and opposition leaders at a Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting some time ago that the motion would be kept pending.

Mr Sarpotdar denied that such a decision had been made, and claimed that Mr Deshmukh had offered to tender his resignation at the meeting. No decision had been made to keep the motion pending, he asserted, and urged Mr Davkhare to amend his remarks.

Mr Davkhare, however, reserved his ruling on amending his remarks.

Later, Mr Deshmukh told UNI that he would not comment on what transpired at the BAC meeting, which was held in Mumbai on October 30 last. ''I will say whatever I want to, in the House,'' he added.

UNI

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