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Scores to settle over 10000

Mumbai, March 17: The cricketing world may be raving about Sachin Tendulkar and his 10,000 runs, but the master blaster's milestone has not been able to blur the political divide in his hometown.

When Nationalist Congress Party leader Vasant Pawar called for a motion in the Maharashtra Legislative Council to congratulate Tendulkar, Opposition members ' from the BJP and the Shiv Sena ' questioned its legality and the motion had to be stalled.

Pawar raised a point of propriety minutes after question hour was over and drew the attention of the House to the Mumbai boy's feat.

But leader of Opposition Nitin Gadkari of the BJP objected to the motion, saying that according to legislative norms, it should be tabled jointly by the ruling party and the Opposition benches.

The portly leader from Nagpur, known as the Flyover Man for constructing 17 flyovers in Mumbai as a minister in the BJP-Sena government, told Pawar: 'I understand your sentiments. But you should have taken the Opposition into confidence.'

He added that the motion would receive unanimous support if the whips of both the ruling and the Opposition benches place it jointly.

'Tendulkar's record is something that the whole of Maharashtra should be proud of. But I was surprised when the Opposition benches opposed it just for the heck of it. They, of course, later said that they also support the motion, but it should be tabled according to the House procedures,' Pawar told The Telegraph after the day's proceedings were over.

Ideally, the Assembly should have moved the motion as the Maharashtra sports minister was present in the Lower House.

Pawar defended his move, saying: 'The Upper House is the House of seniors, and it may not have economic clout, but it certainly has the moral upper hand in things cultural. So I thought it was a privilege for the Upper House to do the honours.'

However, the honours were eventually done when the Opposition and the ruling benches jointly tabled the congratulatory motion and unanimously passed it.

The Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation did not wait for procedural formalities to bestow praise on Tendulkar. Newly-elected mayor Datta Salvi wasted no time in announcing that the corporation would publicly felicitate 'amcha Sachin' after the India-Pakistan cricket series is over.

So next month one can catch Tendulkar in a saffron turban being honoured by the city whose grounds nursed and nurtured his cricket.

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