The Congress-led Democratic Front government’s decision to allocate special funds worth Rs 2,303 crore to its legislators met with stiff resistance from Opposition members in the state assembly yesterday. The uproar raised by BJP, Shiv Sena and MNS members in the assembly stalled procedures and the house had to be adjourned for the day.
Yesterday, MiD DAY had carried a report revealing the Democratic Front’s plan to distribute Rs 10 crore to each of its legislators (‘Bankrupt state plans Rs 2,303 crore bonanza for Cong-NCP legislators’).
The state has allocated Rs 1,260 crore to 121 legislators from the Congress and 103 legislators from the NCP. Each legislator has been allocated the funds to take up development works of his or her choice in their constituencies or in areas where they wish to concentrate for the next elections. As soon as the house opened at 11 am with the announcement of the question hour, Opposition members trooped to the well and demanded an explanation on the unequal allocation of funds.
Despite repeated requests from the chair, no member from the Opposition was in the mood to listen or back down. Speaker Dilip Walse Patil decided to adjourn the proceedings till 12 noon, cancelling the question hour.
When the house convened again, the mayhem continued, leading to another adjournment at 12.32 pm. Finally, deliberations were called off and the house was adjourned for the dayat 2 pm.
Speaking to MiD DAY, leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse said it was unethical on the part of the government to allocate such a huge amount among its legislators.
“To pacify us, attempts were made to distribute some amount among the prominent members of the Opposition. A few of us were given Rs 2-3 crore each, but this is not acceptable. I have told the CM that such injustice has never happened in the past,” said Khadse.
A Shiv Sena MLA alleged that state council members from the ruling parties have been asked to concentrate on assembly constituencies represented by Opposition parties. “By spending the amount, these ruling party members plan to unseat us in the next elections”, he said.
Who gets how much
The list of requirements placed before the legislature:
State PWD: Rs 953.54 crore
Urban development department: Rs 843.61 crore
Social justice department: Rs 316.46 crore
Housing department: Rs 237.11 crore
Rural development department: Rs 148.17 crore
Tribal development department: Rs 153.85 crore