Maharashtra opposition signals stormy budget session
Mumbai: Signalling a stormy budget session of the Maharashtra legislature, the state opposition on Sunday boycotted the customary session-eve tea party hosted by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here.
The budget session starts here on Monday with an address by Governor C.V. Rao to a joint session of the state legislature.
The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party launched a scathing attack on the five-month-old Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena alliance government, targeting it on various issues.
With a belligerent opposition and a highly vocal alliance partner (Shiv Sena), the session may prove rough for the BJP, preparing to table its first budget amidst concern of mounting debts now hovering around Rs.300,000 crore.
Congress Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil in assembly and NCP's Dhananjay Munde in the council have raised the issue of growing attacks on rationalists with reference to the February 16 gunning and subsequent death of senior CPI leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur.
They expressed dissatisfaction with the government on the growing number of farmers' suicides around the state, law and order situation with little headway in the Pansare killing probe, the scrapping of five percent reservations for Muslim community, the banning of cow-bullock slaughter in the state, and other issues.
"We shall raise the issue of the government's failure to provide relief to the farming community reeling under a severe agrarian crisis," Vikhe-Patil told mediapersons.
The opposition has demanded a full-fledged home minister and agriculture to tackle these issues.
Adding to the government's cup of woes is the threat by the alliance partner Shiv Sena is planning to revive the anti-Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant agitation next week.
However, a confident Fadnavis dismissed the opposition charges contending "it does not have any issues" later this evening.
Known for his incisive analysis and criticism of various budgets presented by the erstwhile Congress-NCP governments in the past, this time Fadnavis could face the opposition heat on his government's first budget.
State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar will table the government's maiden budget on March 18.