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Cong fails to block debate on various scams in its reign

Despite Congress ministers asking Opposition to rethink its demand for discussion on recent controversies under its regime citing protocol, Opposition refuses to back down, says debate a must

Intense behind-the-curtains political antics occupied most of the last couple of days for state legislators. After the Opposition parties alluded to a legislative rule in order to table recently unearthed scams, their investigations and ongoing court proceedings in the State Assembly for debate, the ruling Congress apparently did what it could to thwart certain specially contentious discussions.


Let's talk: Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse (left) refused to yield to
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Patil's request to let some
issues alone. File pic


Under rule 293, legislators can raise any topic for discussion deemed important or to be in public interest.
According to a leader from the Opposition, the BJP, the Shiv Sena, the MNS and the PWP had on Wednesday submitted their demand for thrashing out a slew of recent political hot potatoes.

These include the allotment of land to Subhash Ghai-promoted film institute, the HC strictures against then CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Pataliputra housing society controversy involving senior IAS and IPS officers, the HC strictures and orders in the Hiranandani Garden case, the probe against six IPS officers in a HC matter related with senior IPS officer KL Bishnoi, the delay by the home department in 39 cases forwarded by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB), court strictures related to an ex-minister of state, the ACB action against deputy collector Nitish Thakur, the government's lenient view in corruption cases involving the SRA, the CIDCO, the MHADA, and so forth.

No forestalling it
Senior Congress ministers are believed to have strongly objected to raising some of these issues in the house. According to sources, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Patil contacted prominent Opposition leaders on Wednesday night, requesting some changes in the subject matter of discussion. He tried to convince the leaders that discussion over some of the ongoing court matters would not be appropriate. But Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse refused to back down, saying he alone could not change the subjects, without discussion with other members.

Due to the utter chaos that followed, the Legislative Secretariat could not issue order of the day for Thursday's legislative business with the subject. Opposition members objected, calling the inaction unprecedented. Later, a meeting took place between the CM, the Ministers and senior members of the Opposition.

Sources said the CM questioned the efficacy of discussion, as most of the issues were under probe by investigating agencies or pending with the HC. But unyielding to any suggestion of changes, Opposition leaders suggested the government was free to reply what it deemed fit, but debate there would be.

Eventually, it was decided in the meeting that the discussion is set to figure in today's agenda for the legislative business. Meanwhile, MLAs and Ministers known to be supporters of former CMs and controversial leaders were trying their best to avoid discussion on controversies related with them.

Inside info
According to sources, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Patil contacted prominent Opposition leaders on Wednesday night, requesting some changes in the subject matter of discussion. He tried to convince the leaders that discussion over some of the ongoing court matters would not be appropriate. But Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse refused to back down, saying he alone could not change the subjects, without discussion with other members

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