MUMBAI: The two-day monsoon session of the Maharashtra Assembly got off to a stormy start on Monday with Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis targeting the state government over an MPSC aspirant's suicide and the short duration of the session.
The BJP leader demanded that House members be allowed to use all legislative tools to highlight various issues and all questions submitted be answered.
As soon as the House assembled, Fadnavis raised a Point of Procedure, saying never before it happened that questions submitted by members lapsed and legislative tools freezed, in the wake of the short duration of the monsoon session.
The BJP leader said earlier whenever questions were not discussed on the floor of the House, they were marked as "unstarred".
To this, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab said the questions submitted by members will be considered as 'unstarred'.
When senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar rose to speak, Shiv Sena member Bhaskar Jadhav objected to it said he also wanted to speak.
Angered by this, Mungantiwar made some remarks to which Nana Patole (Congress) and Nawab Malik (NCP) objected.
Both members of the ruling parties demanded that the remarks by expunged.
Subsequently, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal expunged the remarks.
Jadhav said he wanted to inform through a Point of Information that Fadnavis's Point of Procedure was wrong, as the Chair had not called out for any business after the House assembled.
Later, Fadnavis moved an adjournment notice, asking for a debate on the functioning of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission in the wake of the suicide of Pune-based MPSC aspirant Swapnil Lonkar.
The 24-year-old Maharashtra government job aspirant allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his house in Pune's Hadapsar area on June 30, police earlier said.
Lonkar, a civil engineering diploma holder, had cleared the 2019 MPSC preliminary and main exams and was waiting for the final interview to take place.
He had also cleared the 2020 preliminary exam as well.
He left behind a suicide note in which he termed the MPSC exams as a "mayajaal" and appealed not to get into it.
In the House, Mungantiwar claimed 430 MPSC candidates have threatened self-immolation.
"There is desperation among the youth.
The need of the hour is to extend the age limit for appearing for the MPSC exam.
The government should announce a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for Lonkar if you are not stone-hearted," he said.
The BJP leader further said the vacancies of information commissioner, Lokayukta and members of the MPSC have not been filled.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, however, said the MPSC issue was discussed in detail and the government has taken it very seriously.
"The vacant posts will be filled by July 31, 2021.
The MPSC exam was held in 2019 in which Swapnil Lonkar appeared and cleared in July 2020.
He was among the 3,671 eligible candidates who cleared the exam for 1,200 posts.
On September 9, 2020, the Supreme Court ordered an interim stay on the SEBC quota, after which the interview process was stopped by the MPSC, which is an autonomous body," he said.
Pawar said the apex court gave its final verdict on the SEBC (Socially and Economically Backward Classes) quota on May 5, 2021.
The MPSC cancelled examinations and the government had questioned its chairman about the decision, but the commission informed that the exams were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Pawar said the government was initiating a process to fill the MPSC vacancies by July 31 this year.
"We stand by the Lonkar family and will take steps for giving financial aid (to his kin)," he said.