Absence of Guv's speech in Marathi sparks furore in Maharashtra Assembly

Absence of Guv's speech in Marathi sparks furore in Maharashtra Assembly

Absence of Guv's speech in Marathi sparks furore in Maharashtra Assembly
In a faux pas that turned into a major embarrassment to the BJP-Shiv Sena saffron alliance government, the Marathi audio translation of Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao's speech was not aired on the first day of the budget session of Maharashtra legislature on Monday.

The Opposition, comprising the Congress and the NCP, boycotted the Governor's address to the joint sitting on the opening day of the budget session, and walked out.

Later, they staged a sit-in on the steps leading to the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the legendary Maratha warrior, at the Vidhan Bhavan complex.

Incidentally, this took place on the eve of the Marathi Language Day, celebrated on February 27 across Maharashtra.

In fact, such a faux pas was unprecedented in the history of the Vidhan Sabha.

Guv upset

The Governor too expressed strong displeasure at the lapse. "During my address to the Joint Session of the Legislature in the morning today, it was observed that the Marathi translation of my speech was not taking place. I am of the view that it needs to be considered with utmost seriousness and strong action needs to be taken against those responsible for this serious lapse,"   Rao said.

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade and Council Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar have sought to know how the lapse occurred.

"It is a grave mistake, it is serious...the Speaker and the Chairman would be looking into it...the issue falls in their jurisdiction. However, I still apologise to all of you," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

The Governor started his address in Marathi and after four minutes began speaking in English. "When we noticed that the Marathi translation was not there, I took the permission of the Chief Minister and went to the audio room and translated it," said Minister Vinod Tawde, who holds several portfolios, including School Education, Sports & Youth Welfare, Higher and Technical Education, Marathi Bhasha, Cultural Affairs and Minorities Development Department.

"This is serious...this cannot be taken lightly," Leader of Opposition in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said. His counterpart in Council Dhananjay Munde of the NCP, in a lighter vein said, "We did not hear the speech in Marathi but in Gujarati."

"The government has failed 12 crore citizens of Maharashtra," said NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.