Opposition accuses Maharashtra govt of leaking Budget

Opposition parties staged a walkout and boycotted the presentation of the state Budget, accusing Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar of "leaking" it on his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

"The Finance Minister is now presenting the Budget, so he is certainly not tweeting its highlights. If his team is doing it simultaneously, it suggests that had all the provision with them," Nationalist Congress Party's House leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said in the Assembly.

Terming it as an "insult" of the legislators, the Opposition demanded an apology from both Mungantiwar and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Pawar later told reporters that during the Congress-NCP rule for 15 years, the Budget never got leaked. Now, he alleged that the Budget provisions were out on the Finance Minister's Twitter account along with advertisements even before he read it out in the House.

Coming to the rescue of his cabinet colleagues, Fadnavis pointed out that there was a time-lag of over 15 minutes between the Budget presentation in the House and flashing the highlights on social media.

"Technology is so advanced...the Opposition need to understand it. Several news media run the Budget highlights as they are presented in the House. Government agencies like the PMO and PIB also do it during the Union Budget. Compared to that, the time lag was more here," said Fadnavis.

In the Legislative Council, when the NCP Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde raised the issue, the Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbakar adjourned the House for 10 minutes and called an all-party meeting.

But the BJP boytcotted the meeting accusing the Chairman of a "partisan approach" and BJP's House leader Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil warned they would bring a no-confidence motion against him.

The Opposition staged a walkout from both the Houses and remained away till the Budget presentation was complete, while Munde demanded the resignation of both Mungantiwar and Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar, for the alleged lapse.