Opposition starts with a bang, government is ready to counter

Updated: Dec 12, 2017, 16:00 IST | Dharmendra Jore

As promised, the opposition began the winter session of the state legislature on a stormy note

As promised, the opposition began the winter session of the state legislature on a stormy note. NCP leaders, including MP Supriya Sule, were detained on day one yesterday for blocking traffic on the Nagpur-Hyderabad highway. NCP alleged that Sule was injured in the melee that the high-handedness of the police caused. The NCP leaders were part of a hallabol march that they had undertaken some days ago from the farmer suicides affected Yavatmal district. The party is demanding the agrarian crisis be resolved, and better prices for farm produce. The leaders were released after some time.

Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, NCP leader Ajit Pawar and others stage a protest on the footsteps of Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur
Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, NCP leader Ajit Pawar and others stage a protest on the footsteps of Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur

Police sources said the leaders and workers were detained because the traffic jam did not allow students to go to schools and colleges for their examinations. "This particular road has several professional colleges and schools. We wanted to clear the road for the distressed students," said a senior police officer.

The opposition legislators from Congress, NCP and smaller parties also created a ruckus over the houses and outside them. They raised slogans against the government, flashed placards and disrupted the proceedings. However, the government placed on record documents such as supplementary demands of R26,000 crore, of which R18,000 crore is for waiving off farm loans. The proceedings were stalled after a resolution to pay tribute to departed former members was passed. A massive protest march has been organized by all opposition parties on Tuesday. NCP boss Sharad Pawar and national leader of Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad will lead the march.

Declare complete loan waiver
Opposition leader in the Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, accused the government of fabricating statistics in the loan waiver scheme. He read out a letter written to the government by a distressed farmer in Washim, Dnyaneshwar Misal, who ended his life on December 6. "In his death declaration, Misal said that the farmers who serviced their loans regularly weren't given benefit. There are no good prices for the produce. He did not get any compensation for his orange orchard that was destroyed because of drought. The government denies grants to farmers who wanted drip irrigation," he said. Patil said the government was misleading by saying that 41 lakh farmers benefitted from a loan waiver. Patil's counterpart in the Council, Dhananjay Munde accused the government of not transferring money to farmers' bank accounts.

Haven't spoken out yet: CM
CM Devendra Fadnavis issued a warning to opposition to mend its ways of causing disruptions. "The information on loan waiver is true and they can verify it. Instead of making wild allegations, they can ask me questions, probe and debate with the government," Fadnavis told mid-day. He said if opposition has threatened to expose his government, he would also expose them. "All of us know who has looted the people in the 15 years of the Congress-NCP rule. We have all information about their scams, most of which are being probed. If they say one thing, I will say three more things," he said.

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