Maratha-OBC quota: Uproar by Treasury bench in Assembly over Oppn's no-show in meeting

by IANS |

Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) Proceedings of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Wednesday were adjourned thrice amid sloganeering by the treasury members targeting the opposition for skipping an all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to discuss the Maratha-OBC reservation issue.

CM Shinde had convened the all-party meeting on Tuesday.

The ruling party members entered into the well of the House and shouted slogans demanding that the opposition clarify its stand on whether the Maratha community should be provided reservation separately or they should get the benefits from the OBC quota.

After the question hour was over, BJP legislator Amit Satam said that the all-party meeting was convened to discuss the Maratha OBC reservation issues, especially amid the ongoing protests from both communities. "The opposition is busy doing politics. If pro-Maratha activists are demanding quota from OBC what is their fault? The opposition should make their stand clear instead of doing politics with an eye to the election," said Satam.

BJP legislator Ashish Shelar slammed the opposition for announcing their decision to skip the all-party meeting at the last minute. "On whose call and SMS, the opposition decided not to attend the meeting, it should be known. The opposition should speak up and clear its stand on the floor of the House," he demanded.

As Shelar spoke, the treasury bench members started shouting slogans and some of them entered the well.

Speaker Rahul Narwekar repeatedly asked the treasury bench members to take their seats but they stood in front of the presiding officers’ podium and continued shouting slogans. The Speaker amid slogan shouting adjourned the House for five minutes at 12.11 p.m.

After the House reassembled at 12.16 p.m. the members were not in a mood to listen to Speakers’ call to take their seats but stepped up shouting. The Leader of the Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar, meanwhile, tried in vain to speak but decided not to do so amid slogan shouting.

BJP legislator Sanjay Kute demanded that the opposition parties, especially the Congress, NCP SP and Shiv Sena UBT should clear their stand on the Maratha OBC reservation issues. He alleged that the opposition was responsible for dividing the communities and disturbing social harmony and peace. "The opposition should clarify whether they are in favour of a separate reservation to the Maratha community or from the OBC quota. The opposition is involved in double speak," he claimed.

Shelar again stood up and demanded that Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena UBT should tender a public apology to the Maratha community. He reiterated his demand on whose call and SMS the opposition decided to skip the meeting and it should be known to the people.

Wadettiwar again stood up and accused the MahaYuti government of creating controversy over Maratha-OBC reservations. "Chief Minister holds talks with one side while Dy CM interacts with another side," he said.

Even when Wadettiwar was speaking, the treasury bench members continued shouting slogans. The Speaker again asked them to take their seats saying the proceedings cannot take place in such a situation. Thereafter, he adjourned the House for the second time at 12.23 p.m.

When the House reassembled at 12.33 p.m., BJP legislator Nitish Rane demanded whether the Maratha community be given quota separately or from the OBC quota. "By skipping yesterday’s meeting, the opposition party’s real face is exposed," he claimed.

Shelar said that Tuesday's meeting was called to jointly discuss a formula to resolve the Maratha OBC reservation issues. "What made the opposition not attend yesterday's meeting? On whose call and SMS, they decided to skip the meeting yesterday? They should tell the people," he said again.

Wadettiwar alleged that the opposition was shouting slogans to "hide its sin".

The Speaker repeatedly asked the treasury bench members to take their seats as the Leader of Opposition was speaking. However, they stuck to their stand and continued shouting slogans. The Speaker adjourned the House for the third time at 12.38 p.m. till 1.23 p.m.

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