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Opposition protests over farmer issues stalls Maha Assembly

Maharashtra Assembly

Nagpur : The Congress-led Opposition continued to disrupt proceedings of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Winter Session on the fifth straight day today as it staged walkouts on their demand of relief package for farmers, forcing one adjournment.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Leader of Opposition Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil demanded suspension of Question Hour and announcing of package for farmers and crop loan waiver.

Panel Speaker Yogesh Sagar, didn’t agree with Vikhe Patil and went ahead with calling the questions.

At this juncture, opposition members stormed the Well of the House and raised anti-government slogans and and threw pieces of papers in the air, all this lasted for about 20 minutes, followed by a first walkout.

When the Question Hour ended, opposition members re-entered the House, again demanding loan waiver announcement.

Amid the din, the Panel Speaker warned opposition from throwing pieces of paper in the air, but opposition ignored it and sensing that the opposition is in no mood to co-operate in running the House smoothly, Sagar adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse also requested the opposition to participate in the proceedings and discuss the loan waiver issue threadbare in the House, which may lead to some solution to the crises as state was in the severe grip of drought and farmers were in distress.

Khadse reminded the Opposition, including NCP that veteran leader and former Union Minister for Agriculture, Sharad Pawar too had said yesterday during his felicitation on his 75th birthday, that Parliament/Assembly should function and should not be disrupted.

Replying to the comments of Vikhe Patil that the farmers suicides were on the rise, Khadse said Congress-NCP too had waived the crop loan and suicides continued. And therefore, crop loan waiver will not be a guarantee that suicides will stop forthright.

But Opposition denounced the stance and staged a walkout for the day.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and former Food and Drugs Minister Manohar Naik were the only two prominent NCP members who joined Congress in the protests and also walked out of House.

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