Maharashtra: Stormy Budget session ahead, vows Opposition

Despite deciding to work in peace during the Budget session of the state legislature that begins today, the government and the Opposition are expected to clash over several issues.

Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde (left) said they won’t let the Devendra Fadnavis-led government go in session
Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde (left) said they won’t let the Devendra Fadnavis-led government go in session

Matters ranging from drought mitigation, farmer suicides to attacks on police force, reservation and dance bar ban will be on the Opposition’s agenda.

Underutilization of time available for legislative work prompted the Assembly Speaker and Council Chairman to call for a meeting. No such meetings have ever happened before. Though the Centre hosts such meetings ahead of Parliament sessions, they do not yield desired results. Opposition leaders dismissed the conclave as yet another ritual, before they boycotted the CM’s customary tea party on the eve of the session.

Opposition leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Assembly) and Dhananjay Munde (Council) indicated that they would not let the state government go in session.

After the first week of the last session in Nagpur got wasted in protests, Opposition sources said the Budget Session will witness something similar. “The government has failed in resolving the agrarian crisis. This year’s drought is more serious than the one in 1972 and the government hasn’t officially declared drought,” said Munde.

Opposition leaders mocked the Cabinet’s visit to drought-hit areas. “It was drought tourism this time. This government plays with words and does not take any new decisions,” said Vikhe Patil. Also, they have asked Comptroller and Auditor General to audit the books of BMC. “We must know where the money went and what the ruling parties (BJP-Sena) have done in 10 years,” said Munde.

Reacting to Opposition’s demand to ban dance bars by March 15, CM Devendra Fadnavis said he wants to bring a new Bill for it. He added that his government is not insensitive towards farmers as his ministers made the first ever visit to tehsils to assess the situation. He took a dig at the Opposition and said they should have a constructive approach rather than stall House proceedings. “We are open to suggestions from all lawmakers. We will not discriminate,” he said.

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