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Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill passed amid pandemonium

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Mar 28 (UNI) The Maharashtra Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill was passed amid pandemonium in the Legislative Assembly with the government rejecting the members' demand that the Lower House be informed on what transpired between Governor S M Krishna, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Finance Minister Jayant Patil with regards to the allocation of funds.

The point of order was raised by BJP member Gopinath Munde, when Mr Patil introduced the bill. Mr Munde said the Finance Minister should make a detailed statement on what directives the Governor had given regarding disbursement of funds to all regions of the State for removing the irrigation backlog.

Mr Munde said it is for the first time in the history of the State that the government could not introduce the Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill last Friday because it did not have the permission of the Governor.

As per constitutional provisions, it is binding on the government to abide by the Governor's directives on equitable distribution of funds to all regions and also to inform the Governor regarding allocation of funds if there are any changes, he said.

Mr Munde said the government had acted in an unconstitutional manner. ''The House has a right to know what directives the Governor had given to the government with regards to the disbursment of funds and why there was a delay in introducing and passing the bill'', he added.

Mr Munde was supported by Subhash Desai (Sena). They criticised Rohidas Patil (Cong) and said there can be no discussion on this bill because the supplementary demands have already been passed.

Suresh Jain (NCP) said even though he agreed with Mr Patil that there can be no discussion on this bill, he supported Mr Munde's point of order because as per his information, even though Rs 385 crore has been earmarked for North Maharashtra in the supplementary demands, the clearance from the Governor for the region was only Rs 100 crore.

''I request the Finance Minister to clarify'', he said.

Mr Jain's information led to angry protests from legislators from North Maharashtra belonging to treasury and opposition benches. They rushed to the well of the House and shouted slogans demanding that the government make a statement on what would be the allocation for each region.

The bill was passed by a voice vote amid noisy scenes and the Deputy Speaker adjourned the house for 30 minutes.

UNI MR KD MSJ DS1635

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