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Council adjourned for day on funds' diversion issue

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 24 (UNI) Maharashtra Legislative Council was today adjourned for the day after three earlier adjournments, as BJP leader Nitin Gadkari continued to demand whether the funds of Rs 263 crore allotted were diverted to other regions than they were originally meant for.

Even Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had remarked on the file that the funds should be allotted as per guidelines of the Governor, he stated.

The issue was raised after question hour by Mr Gadkari, who held that reappropriation of the funds of Rs 263 crore was done, which was not allowed.

Describing this as the violation of the Constitution, he alleged that apart from this, Rs 748 crore was transferred from other departments and in all Rs 1,041 crore were diverted to irrigation department, which was actually allotted Rs 1,941 crore.

Mr Gadkari threw an open a challange to treasury benches that if his information about remarks of the Chief Minister were found wrong, he would apologise before the House.

Finance Minister Jayant Patil tried to defend the government, saying that the Chief Minister's signatures were on every file of the irrigation department, and added that Mr Deshmukh was currently in Delhi.

However, this did not pacify the angry Opposition, and as Mr Gadkari persisted on his demand to check whether the funds were diverted despite the positive remarks of the Chief Minister or not, Council Deputy Chairman Vasant Davkhare concluded today's proceedings.

Later, Mr Gadkari told mediapersons that the legislators from Vidarbha have formed an 'all party backlog removal forum' headed by B T Deshmukh (Ind), which includes himself, former Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ranjit Deshmukh, NCP MP Datta Meghe on the issue of backlog and they will organise a meeting on the issue on March 28. He said a delegation headed by Mr Deshmukh also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on this issue.

When asked whether there was lack of coordination between the members of Opposition of the two Houses, since BJP leader Gopinath Munde had accepted in Legislative Assembly, two days before the Government's proposal, that the funds would be adjusted next year, Mr Gadkari claimed that Mr Munde had not made any such promise. He said no compromise could be made on the Governor's directives.


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