Council adjourned twice over diversion of funds

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Mumbai, Mar 24 (UNI) Maharashtra Legislative Council was today adjourned twice as the members of the Opposition, led by Nitin Gadkari (BJP) demanded an explanation from the Chief Minister whether the funds allotted for Vidarbha, Marathwada, Konkan and North Maharashtra were diverted to other regions.

The issue was raised by Mr Gadkari after question hour who claimed that despite the fact Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had remarked on the file that the funds of Rs 263 crore should be allotted properly to all the regions, they were diverted.

Minister of State for Finance Sunil Deshmukh said Mr Deshmukh has rushed to Delhi, while he also informed that the Governor has asked not to table the Apropriation Bill today.

Meanwhile, Chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh tried to pacify the angry Opposition saying that he would give the decision on this issue on Monday. However, he could not satisfy the members, who entered the well and raised anti-Government slogans.

At this moment, Mr Deshmukh adjourned the House for half-an-hour.

Later Deputy Chairman Vasant Davakhare also adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

Mr Gadkari later told mediapersons that the funds which were allotted to other regions were allegedly diverted to Krishna valley development project. He, however, did not specify at whose behest the diversion of funds was done and demanded that Mr Deshmukh himself should announce the name of the person ''who seems to be more powerful than him.'' Mr Gadkari also said that a delegation of members of the Opposition this morning called on Governor S M Krishna and apprised him with the diversion of funds. He said he also told Mr Krishna that the legislators of these four backward regions of State would start hunger strike at the Governor's bungalow on the issue.

Mr Gadkari said he was accompanied by legislators from Shiv Sena, Swatantra Bharat party, PWP and Independents.

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