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With an intention to recognize the efforts and noteworthy performance of the legislators in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Maharashtra Legislative Council, Lokmat Media Group, on July 12, organised - Vidhi Mandal Puraskar 2018 - at Deshpande Hall, Civil Lines, in Nagpur. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis was the chief guest at the award function.
Apart from Fadnavis, prominently present during the award function were Vijay Darda (Chairman, Lokmat), Rajendra Darda (Editor-In-Chief, Lokmat), Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar (Chairman, Maharashtra Legislative Council), Haribhau Bagade (Speaker, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly), Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat, Maharashtra Transport Minister Divakar Raote, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Leader of Opposition, Legislative Assembly), Jayant Patil (President, Maharashtra unit of NCP), famous lawyer and special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam and other legislators and politicians.
Addressing the people present at Vidhi Mandal Puraskar 2018, Rajendra Darda spoke about the role played by Lokmat newspaper during the British era and after the Indian independence. Darda informed how Lokmat has been regularly organising the award ceremony for the last two years to recognize the legislators for their work in the Assembly and the Council. Darda also informed that a jury consisting of experts chose the legislators to be awarded and that the legislators would be awarded by Nimbalkar and Bagade. Speaking about Nimbalkar, Darda said that he is somebody who speaks less but is very tech savvy. Darda also revealed that Bagade is fondly called ‘Nana’ by many people.
After Darda’s address, a unique program – Lokmat Ki Adalat – was conducted by special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. Present as the accused in this court were Sudhir Mungantiwar, Diwakar Raote, Jayant Patil and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. Nikam, compared politics and the judicial system even as he made his witty remarks on politics.
Speaking during the program about people from criminal background in politics, Mungantiwar said that nobody can be denied the rights as mentioned by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. But a person who has been convicted for more than two years does not have the right to contest an election. BJP does not have people who are prone to committing crimes. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil while speaking on the subject said that the political parties should have a code of conduct for such people. Parties should not allow people with criminal background to enter public life. Jayant Patil was also of the opinion that a person with any kind of crime record should not be given the candidature by a political party.
During the Vidhi Mandal Puraskar 2018, Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar and Haribhau Bagade were honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for laudable performance at the Council and Assembly respectively. Legislators who were awarded during the ceremony were MLA Sunil Prabhu, MLC Anil Sole, MLA Yashomati Thakur, MLA Vidya Chavan, MLA Ashish Shelar and MLC Sanjay Dutt.