Rane faces privilege move over remark on session

April 15th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane was embarrassed in the state assembly Tuesday when a breach of privilege motion was moved against him for saying that the budget session of the legislature was extended with the sole motive of targeting him. Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam, who moved the motion, contended that Rane’s allegation, made outside the legislature Friday, amounted to casting aspersions on the house business advisory committee took the decision, and thus constituted a breach of privilege of the assembly.

Though the privilege motion is a part of Kadam’s relentless onslaught against the Shiv Sena bete noire who defected to the Congress a couple of years ago, Rane was, in fact, gunning for Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his detractors in the party.

Rane told reporters Friday that the session extension was a conspiracy jointly hatched by “them” and the opposition to corner him over false cases of corruption.

“A budget session is generally wound up in two or three days after passage of the appropriation bill, but in the instant case, the opposition asked for a two-week extension and ‘these people in my party’ readily agreed so that I could be defamed,” said Rane, adding such petty politics will ultimately weaken the party.

After Kadam moved the motion, Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar, who announced the business advisory committee’s decision in the house Friday, said he would give the minister a chance to explain his position in deference to the principle of natural justice.

In his second fusillade against Deshmukh - after his attack on the chief minister at a press conference in Delhi in December last year - Rane said he was being viewed with suspicion for the defeat of Deshmukh’s confidante Sudhakar Gangane in the recent legislative council elections though he had nothing to do with it.

“It was the responsibility of the chief of the state to ensure the victory of all the party candidates, but a conspiracy is being hatched to malign me and the collusion with the opposition for the session extension is a part of that,” he said.

The party insiders feel that while Rane could easily wriggle out of the privilege motion by straightaway denying the statements attributed to him and pointing out that a privilege motion cannot be admitted solely on the basis of press reports, the insinuations could further worsen his position in the party.

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