Have reservations over privileges committee in Raut case, says Pawar

New DelhI: Nationalist Congress Party chief (NCP) Sharad Pawar on Thursday expressed reservations on the composition of the committee formed to hear the breach of privilege notice against Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut.

Speaker Rahul Narvekar on Wednesday set up a 15-member privileges committee of the House for 2023-24 to be headed by BJP legislator Rahul Kul, amid uproar over Raut allegedly calling the Vidhimandal (state legislature) “chor-mandal” (council of thieves). In a series of tweets, Pawar said the complainant has been entrusted with the task of justice delivery and members who demanded strict action against Raut are part of the privileges committee. “How can one expect justice,” he asked. Terming Raut’s comments serious and an insult of the legislature, the speaker had said he would conduct an inquiry and give his ruling on March 8.

The committee comprises three MLAs of the NCP, two members of the Congress, two independent MLAs supporting the ruling alliance, two MLAs of the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and six BJP MLAs. No MLA of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena found a place on the panel.

Pawar said Raut’s comments need to be seen in totality.