Opposition continues boycott of Maharashtra assemblyMarch 28th, 2011 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) Maharashtra’s ruling and opposition legislators held a meeting with the speaker Monday morning, but it failed to break the deadlock over the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine’s ongoing boycott of the state assembly.
While the opposition remained adamant on its demand for revocation of the suspension of nine of its legislators - five from Shiv Sena and four from the BJP - the ruling Democratic Front of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party was not willing to relent on the issue.
As a result, legislators from the Shiv Sena and the BJP, all wearing black badges, squatted on the staircase of the legislature building and shouted slogans against the government. Even the question hour at noon started without the presence of the opposition members.
Members from the treasury benches said that if the suspension was revoked, it would cease to serve as a deterrent against members’ unruly behaviour in the house.
Monday’s meeting was attended by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Eknath Khadse and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pandurang Phunkar, and leaders of other parties. They met in the chamber of Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil.
A second round of meeting is expected to held later Monday afternoon.
On March 24, five Shiv Sena members and four BJP members were suspended till Dec 31 for disrupting the house during the budget presentation March 23 and continuing to create ruckus the following day.
The supended members were: Ravindra Waikar, Vinod Ghosalkar, Girish Mahajan, Pratap Sarnaik, Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sen, and Sardar Tara Singh, Vijay Shivtare, Harish Pimpale, and Vijay Deshmukh of the BJP.
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