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Bhujbal arrest rocks Maha Legislature

Both the Houses of Maharashtra Legislature on Tuesday witnessed uproar with opposition Congress and NCP members protesting against the arrest of former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal alleging that it was ‘vendetta politics’ of the BJP-led Government. While the Legislative Assembly was adjourned four times and the opposition members walked out of the house, the Council was adjourned for the day following ruckus over the issue.

As the proceedings began in the House, opposition members started shouting slogans condemning the arrest of the senior NCP leader, sitting MLA from Yeola in Nashik district, by Enforcement Directorate last evening in connection with a money laundering case.

The House was initially adjourned for 10 minutes and later three more times as the noisy scenes continued.

Rejecting the opposition charge, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the House that the ED had acted ‘only after concrete proof’ and that the state government has has nothing to do with that.

“Should ED keep quiet if there has been corruption,” Fadnavis said.

Maintaining that the arrest was not an act of vendetta, he said, “We will not help those seeking to suppress scams," adding "it is unfortunate that discussion in the House, instead of centring on drought situation, should be on this issue”. 

The Opposition members later staged a walkout from the House for the day, protesting the "vendetta politics" of the government.

In Legislative Council, the Congress and NCP forced the adjournment of the House for the day over the issue.

As the Upper House assembled, the opposition members, via an adjournment motion, called for the House to set aside the day's business and discuss the arrest of the senior NCP leader.

Opposition Leader Dhananjay Munde, who moved the motion, held that Bhujbal was a former Deputy Chief Minister, a former LoP, an ex-member of the Council, and his arrest has had repercussions across the state.

“People across the state are angry and are protesting over the manner in which he was arrested despite cooperating with the investigation agencies. It is thus imperative that all other business must be set aside and the House discuss the issue," Munde said.

Responding to Munde's contention, Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar said the House usually conducts the Question Hour first and then only the adjournment motion is considered.
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