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Maha session to be stormy

Maha Assembly

Mumbai:  Monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislature, beginning July 13, is expected to be a stormy one with allegations against some of the high profile ministers giving ample ammunition to the Congress-NCP opposition to corner the BJP-led government headed by Devendra Fadnavis.

Apart from controversies centring BJP ministers Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde, spurt in cases of farmers’ suicide, flaws in loan waiver scheme and law and order situation are expected to rock both the Legislative Assembly and Council right from the day one.

While Congress has threatened to disrupt the proceedings in both the Houses until the ministers confronting corruption charges “resigned on moral grounds and faced enquiry,” the NCP will be focusing on the Government’s “failure” on loan waiver for debt-ridden farmers and flaws in the crop insurance scheme.

“The BJP government has been hit by scams even before it completed one year in power. It lacks accountability with the Chief Minister himself defending his cabinet colleagues, instead of asking them to resign and face enquiry,” Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil told PTI.

“First it was Education Minister Vinod Tawde who allegedly forged educational certificates and then Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde, who has been accused of awarding contracts worth Rs 206 crore,” he said.

It was Fadnavis himself who announced the Government decision to e-tender all contracts worth more than Rs 3 lakh on the floor of the House during the winter session. What was the hurry (on the part of Munde) to award contracts based on the rate contract system?” he asked.

“All this has created a cloud of suspicion. It will not clear till the ministers come clean after an enquiry,” he said.

Leader of Opposition in state Council, Dhananjay Munde of the NCP, said there has already been a shortfall in rains this year and farmers cannot sow new crops till their loans were waived.

“The NCP leaders have toured the drought-affected regions and also apprised the CM with the worsening situation. W erequested him that loans should be waived off for farmers of 24,000 villages that have been declared drought-hit. But, that is yet to happen,” Munde rued.

“The law and order situation is also going from bad to worse. BJP’s own ally Shiv Sena is blaming the government on this issue. The government needs to answer us on this,” he said.

Munde said out of the Rs 4,000-crore package announced for farmers hit by unseasonal rains and hailstorms in March last year, Rs 800 crore was yet to reach them.

The government is yet to provide the crop insurance scheme for farmers and it should transfer the money immediately into their bank accounts, he demanded.

“On one hand, farmers are committing suicide for lack of money and on the other, Cabinet ministers are being accused of corruption running into hundreds of crores of rupees. On the commencement of the session, we will demand resignation of all the ministers accused of impropriety and an inquiry conducted under the supervision of a sitting High Court judge. Unless the government agrees to our demands, we will not let the Houses function,” Munde said.

Meanwhile, Vikhe Patil said the government has also failed to fulfil its promise to farmers of constructing sheds in the wake of ban on slaughter, consumption and possession of the meat of bulls and bullocks.

“The drought situation prevailing in many parts is causing death of livestock that do not receive proper care. The government has miserably failed in supporting farmers and the livestock,” he said.

The Congress also alleged that interest has not been paid on the rescheduling of loans to farmers and their loans not waived.

“Unless the government announces a loan waiver scheme for farmers and pays interest on the rescheduling of loans, we will not let the House run,” the LoP in Assembly said.

He also criticised the CM over his failure to visit the victims of the Malwani hooch incident and demanded suspension of MCGM Commissioner Ajoy Mehta.

“The CM did not even have the courtesy to visit the Malwani area where more than 100 people died after consuming illicit liquor. He should have at least visited the victims and shown that the government cares for them,” he said.

“The Shatabdi hospital, where 90 per cent of the deaths occurred, is a civic-run hospital. Deaths occurred due to the negligence of hospital authorities. Still the civic chief did not visit the hospital once. We will also demand immediate suspension of MCGM commissioner for negligence in duty,” he said.

The government has lost the faith of the people and public sentiments are turning negative, as seen in the recent Gondia and Bhandara elections, he mentioned.

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