The Maharashtra Assembly could not function in Nagpur on Friday due to a power blackout caused by the rains, prompting an attack on the government by ally Shiv Sena as well as the opposition parties.
Both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council were adjourned for the day, shortly after convening this morning as there was darkness. The power supply had been turned off after the switching centre that provides electricity to the Assembly complex was flooded following heavy rains in the city.
Nagpur, considered the second capital of Maharashtra, usually hosts the winter session of the assembly every year and it is for the first time since 1961 that the monsoon session is being held there. Nagpur city received heavy rainfall on Thursday night and when the Assembly met at 10 am on Friday, there was darkness.
Speaker Haribhau Bagde adjourned the House for an hour, saying the switching centre had to be turned off due to flooding in its panel located underground.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis then called a meeting other leaders of various parties in the Speaker’s chamber, where a decision was taken to adjourn the House for the day, education minister Vinod Tawde told reporters.
At 11 am, when the House reconvened, the security staff had to switch on the mobile phone lights to enable the Speaker to reach to seat. Bagde then announced that the House has to be adjourned for the day. Leaders of the opposition Congress and NCP wanted to speak but in the absence of electricity, the mikes were not functioning and therefore, they were not audible.
Similarly, when the Legislative Council met at noon, its Chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar adjourned the House for the day. Talking to PTI later, the chief minister said, “The city receives heavy rainfall two-three times during monsoon. But today’s rains are very heavy. The switching centre has always been underground and it was flooded.”
Interestingly, in 1961, when the monsoon session of the state legislature was held in Nagpur for the first time, the House had been adjourned before the time when it was debating Maharashtra Decentralisation (of powers and functions to district councils) Bill, 1961. As per the records, due to power failure, the lights went off and after waiting for eight minutes, the House was adjourned before its scheduled time.