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Minister, Ruling MLA Clash In Maharashtra Assembly

Used to witness clashes between legislators belonging to the Treasury Benches and Opposition, Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan was astounded when news broke out of a virtual fisticuff between a top minister and a ruling alliance MLA on Friday. Top minister Dada Bhuse and NCP (Ajit) faction member Mahendra Thorve rushed at each other after a brief verbal duel just outside the house lobby. Immediately, another minister, Shambhuraje Desai, tried to soothe them and took them inside. However, by that time, over a dozen legislators had seen the disturbing scene. While Bhuse later told the house that no clash had taken place, Thorve made it a point that he had asked Bhuse why certain works in his constituency were not getting clearance. Thorve has been elected from Raigad district and is considered close to DCM Ajit Pawar. Otherwise a low-profile leader, he lost his cool, he said, since even CM Eknath Shinde’s son had intervened so that the work would receive a nod, but in vain. When the CM was asked about the reported fight, he dismissed the question by saying, “Ask me about the house session, not such things.” The matter, however, was raised in the assembly by Opposition leaders Vijay Wadettiwar and former finance minister Jayant Patil. They both condemned the incident and expressed concern that physical assaults had now reached the legislature precincts.