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Maharashtra Assembly: COVID-19 norms ignored as Opposition MLAs gather to protest

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Mumbai, Mar 09: Members of the opposition BJP who were given seats in the Maharashtra Assembly galleries as part of physical distancing came close to each other on the floor of the House, ignoring the COVID-19 norms, while protesting and shouting slogans against the state government.

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Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal appealed to the members to go back to their seats and follow the COVID-19 prevention guidelines. The House witnessed heated arguments as the opposition and treasury benches traded charges against each other over the case of mysterious death of auto parts leader Mansukh Hiran, whose vehicle laden with explosives was found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence here last month.

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The opposition members demanded suspension and arrest of assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze over his alleged role in the case. Deputy Speaker Zirwal said in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration of the Assembly's budget session has already been curtailed.

"It is not right to come so close to each other without wearing masks," he said. Nana Patole (of the Congress) demanded action against the members not following rules.

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Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu asked the Chair to order the members to go back to their seats. When the Chair called for a discussion on the budget demands, Fadnavis asked, "Why do we discuss budgetary allocation for the police, so that they can kill people?"

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