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Opposition stages mock funeral as farmers' suicides rock Assembly

Written by: Staff
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Nagpur, Dec 5 (UNI) The opposition staged a mock funeral procession in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and boycotted the day's proceedings amid unprecedented chaos and acrimonious scenes that forced four adjournments as the large number of suicides by farmers in Vidarbha rocked the House today.

In an unusual gesture, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is also the leader of the House, expressed regrets for what he termed a serious breach of decorum and the undermining of the Speaker's authority by the opposition members who staged the mock funeral.

The opposition members raised slogans against the government and the Speaker and displayed banners condemning the farmers' suicides before squatting in the well of the House demanding the suspension of the agenda for the day to discuss the issue immediately. The House witnessed a heated discussion after the government tabled a resolution seeking the suspension for breach of decorum of ten opposition members who staged the mock funeral.

Leader of the Opposition Ramdas Kadam announced a boycott of the day's proceedings after a prolonged and acrimonious debate over the manner in which the farmers' suicides were sought to be discussed in the House and the behaviour of the opposition members.

Mr Kadam condemned what he termed the government's failure in preventing farmers' suicides in Vidarbha and its reluctance to discuss the issue seriously in the House, before the entire opposition staged a walk-out. The opposition members then went around the lobby of the House raising slogans condemning the suicides and the government.

Earlier, several members from the opposition carried Sunil Dhande (Shiv Sena) on their shoulders in a mock funeral procession demanding a discussion on the suicides by farmers through an adjournment motion. They were stopped mid-way by members from the treasury benches and returned to their seats only after Mr Kadam intervened on directions from Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar.

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