Sena ruckus in House over Nanar Chemical refinery

Jul 12, 2018, 09:02 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Shiv Sena MLAs Rajan Salvi, Pratap Sarnaik join Cong's Nitesh Rane in stealing Speaker's mace before House was adjourned for the day

Sena ruckus in House over Nanar Chemical refinery
Uddhav Thackeray

Stung by criticism over its minister's silence when Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday that a proposed Nanar chemical refinery would not be scrapped, aggressive Shiv Sena legislators stole the Speaker's ceremonial mace and created a ruckus in the assembly on Wednesday, demanding that the project be cancelled.

To everyone's surprise, the Sena MLAs got support from their vehement opponent Nitesh Rane (Congress) in scuffling with the Assembly staff while trying to carry the mace away from the Speaker's dais.

Rane attempted the act first and the Sena's Rajan Salvi and Pratap Sarnaik joined him. The four marshalls had to stop the MLAs from taking the mace away; the Speaker adjourned the house for the day.

The MLAs' unruly act is seen as serious violation of rules and can get them suspended from the lower house. It would be interesting to see if the BJP takes the lead in punishing members of the alliance party.

The Sena is strongly opposed to the refinery, which is a national project with international investment. The party leadership and ministers have been raising their voices against the BJP government. Industry minister Subhash Desai (Sena member) had threatened to resign if the project was not scrapped. But, when a debate happened in the upper house on Tuesday, Desai remained a silent spectator even as Fadnavis replied to every question that was thrown at the industry minister.

A day after, the Congress and the Sena tabled a motion to discuss the Nanar project in the Assembly. Both wanted their motion to be discussed first. The Sena said they wanted to go out to meet project-affected people of Nanar who had gathered in a protest morcha near Vidhan Bhavan. They stormed the well of the House, forcing four adjournments. The fifth attempt bore fruit in the form of a final adjournment.

Deshmukh vs Deshmukh
Two BJP ministers, Subhash Deshmukh and Vijay Deshmukh, became fodder for discussion in the legislature on Wednesday, when they admitted to differences between them. Subhash Deshmukh is a senior minister in the cooperation department, while Vijay Deshmukh is a junior minister of transport, excise and public health. Hailing from Solapur, the two are always seen fighting each other to gain power in local bodies and other institutions.

NCP's Ajit Pawar's unintentional remarks during a debate on the functioning of the cooperation department, forced Subhash Deshmukh to say on Wednesday that his party colleague was influenced by the Opposition which wanted protection in creating cases and hence had joined hands in a recent election in Solapur against his panel.

The senior Deshmukh's panel had lost the elections. Vijay Deshmukh did not spare the opportunity to make his views clear. He said he had told Pawar that he had fielded his panel in the elections (against his local BJP rival).

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