Set House in order and get down to business
The BJP seems to be in a belligerent mood, and appears to be bent on putting hurdles on each step of the way in the Assembly
The 14th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly is just two days old, and we have already witnessed unnecessary exchanges that show our elected representatives in poor light.
On Monday, time was wasted discussing Savarkar and Rahul Gandhi's comments on him. Tuesday further saw a new low in the history of the state's legislative, with members of the ruling Shiv Sena and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party locked in a scuffle. It is true that the House did manage to conduct some important business in the meantime, like the tabling of supplementary demands totaling Rs 16,000 crore, including Rs 4,500 crore in relief for farmers affected by unseasonal rains.
But overall, the signs are not too encouraging. The BJP seems to be in a belligerent mood, and appears to be bent on putting hurdles on each step of the way in the Assembly. The Shiv Sena looks like it is still carrying the hangover of shrill opposition to everything. It is nobody's case that the Opposition should be in agreement with the treasury benches on every issue. A strong Opposition — which is what the BJP is, with its 100-plus MLAs — will, after all, only ensure that the government of the day is kept on the straight and narrow.
But the parties on both sides of the aisles would do well to remember that the state is passing through an extraordinary phase. Agrarian distress is very real and should be on top of the mind for both the ruling and Opposition dispensations. The Maha Vikas Aghadi, for its part, has to answer how it will fulfill its promise of Rs 25,000 relief per hectare of farm land with a mere Rs 4,000 crore. Then there is the all-important issue like unemployment, job creation, infrastructure development, and education reforms. The sooner both sides assume their new roles and perform it faithfully, the better off the state would be. And there is very little time to waste.
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