Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar on Wednesday lashed out at the state government over the absence of ministers during the special sitting of the House due to which 7 of the 8 calling attention notices had to be postponed.
This elicited an apology from Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
A calling attention notice allows House members to bring the attention of a minister to a matter of urgent public importance.
The issue cropped up after the Assembly, which is having its budget session, resumed its proceedings for the day at 11 am.
As soon as Speaker Rahul Narvekar took up the Question Hour, an agitated Ajit Pawar said that in the special sitting today, 8 calling attention notices were listed but just one, related to tourism, could be taken up for discussion because only that minister concerned was present. The rest had to be postponed due to the absence of other ministers, he said.
“This is the height of shamelessness when ministers do not take legislative business seriously. They want to become ministers but won’t do the work concerning their departments,” said Mr Pawar pointing out that even parliamentary affairs minister Chandrakant Patil was absent.
On Tuesday, Mr Pawar said, the House which is currently debating the budget proposals concluded its sitting post midnight at 1 am (on Wednesday). Still, all MLAs from the treasury and opposition benches whose calling attention notices were listed in the special sitting came to the House, said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader.
Expressing regret, Mr Fadnavis said all ministers will be told to be present when issues concerning their departments are taken up in the legislature.
“Yesterday’s order of the day came post-midnight, the ministers did not get time for briefing,” he said.
To this, Mr Pawar said all the calling attention notices listed were the ones which had been postponed. So all the ministers have already taken briefings on them from bureaucrats, he said.
Earlier, Mr Fadnavis said, three calling attention notices would be listed in the order of the day, but the number is now increasing.
Speaker Rahul Narvekar said 2,376 calling attention notices were received online from members. So far, 57 calling attention notices have been taken up for discussion in this session, he said, assuring the House that the order of the day would be made available on time.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)