Parliamentary affairs minister Girish Bapat said that the decision was taken after examining similar arrangement in six other states.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government made changes to the Legislature Members (Removal of Disqualification) Act, giving facilities like cars with red beacon, offices and bungalows to the whips of the ruling parties — the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena. However, the facilities have not been extended to the opposition parties — the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
With the amendment, the BJP whips Raj Purohit in Assembly and Bhai Girkar in Council, Shiv Sena whips Suresh Prabhu in Assembly, and Neelam Gorhe in Council would get the facilities. The ruling parties whips will also get the status of the state minister. Meanwhile, the opposition has slammed the move, terming as a bid to “accommodate more leaders politically”.
Parliamentary affairs minister Girish Bapat said that the decision was taken after examining similar arrangement in six other states. The Assembly approved an amendment in the act on Wednesday. “About six other states have these facilities, and hence we have given it to our whips. It’s for their convenience to work and manage the floor in the house,” Mr Bapat said. Though there are six whips in the BJP; the facility would be given to chief whips of the Assembly and Council, Mr Bapat added.
The draft of the amendment said “The offices of the chief whip and whip of the party forming the government in the state legislature are of utmost important for the functioning of both houses of the state legislature. It is therefore considered expedient to provide that the member of the state legislature who are holding the chief whip and whip post in the state legislature certain facilities attached to the said office.”
However, the opposition has slammed the move terming it as a bid to appease some leaders. NCP group leader Jayant Patil asked why the opposition parties whips are not given the similar facilities. “They are trying to adjust more leaders in the power circle. That’s why the opposition parties’ whips are not given same facilities,” Mr Patil added.
In Delhi Assembly in 2015, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had appointed 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries and later, the Delhi high court had set aside the appointments.