After a huge embarrassment for the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis offered an unconditional apology in the legislature following a Gujarati translation audio of Governor CV Rao’s speech was played in the House.
Shortly after the matter came to light, Fadnavis tendered an unconditional apology to the House and the members for the gaffe which he termed as “a very serious issue.”
Ironically, the incident happened a day before the Marathi Language Day (February 27) and on the opening day of the Maharashtra Legislature’s Budget Session on Monday. It was at that time when Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao got up to make his customary address before a joint sitting of the members of the assembly and council.
Just a few minutes after the speech in English, which was delivered by Rao, most of the members were startled to hear a Gujarati translation on their headphones instead of Marathi.
Due to which, the Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party members created a ruckus, rebuking the government for the Gujarati audio and vociferously commanded a Marathi translation audio.
“This is a very serious issue… it cannot be taken lightly,” said Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Congress Leader of Opposition in the assembly.
His counterpart in the Council, NCP’s Dhananjay Munde said “the government has failed the 12 crore citizens of Maharashtra… We did not hear the speech in Marathi, but in the Gujarati language.”
Both leaders led the main opposition members to boycott the Governor’s remainder of the speech and staged a noisy walkout.
While Education Minister Vinod Tawde said that when he heard the Gujarati translation audio, he hurried to the Legislature Control Room to privately check and later read out the Marathi translation of the Governor’s speech. However, it was not clear whether there was a technical glitch or something else.
Fadnavis on his part offered an apology to the House and asked the Speaker Haribhau Bagade to take stringent action against the people responsible and punish them by Monday evening if possible.
“It is indeed a very grave mistake. This is indeed a serious matter. I am requesting the Honourable Speaker to look into this immediately and take stringent action against those responsible. In fact, if possible by this evening, they should be shunted home. I also hereby unconditionally apologise for this,” Fadnavis said.