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Winter session of Maha Legislature begins today

Maharashtra Assembly

Nagpur, Dec 7 (PTI) The winter session of Maharashtra Legislature is likely to be stormy for the ruling combine of BJP-Shiv Sena with the opposition Congress and NCP seeking to put the new government on mat over issues pertaining to farmers and drought.

Moreover, the Congress and NCP, which had been at the helm in the state for three consecutive terms and thus aware of nitty-gritty of administration, may find it easy to corner the newly-anointed ministers, most of them first-timers.

This will be the first major session of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government after November 12 when the BJP had won a crucial trust vote on the floor of House with its then estranged partner Shiv Sena in opposition.

However, Sena is now part of the government with ten of its leaders being already allocated berths. With the participation of Sena, which has 63 MLAs, Fadnavis government now has the much-needed cushion to ward off any attack from the opposition.

Suicides by farmers and drought conditions in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions are going to be prominent issues in the Assembly session with the NCP and Congress accusing the government of “doing precious little” for farmers.

Congress deputy leader in Assembly Vijay Vadettiwar said, “The new BJP-led government has failed to address the issues of agriculturists in Vidarbha where farmer suicide has once again raised its ugly head.

“The number of farmer suicides so far this year stood at 568 and a drought-like situation is looming large in parts of Vidarbha and entire Marathwada,” Wadettiwar told here yesterday.

NCP has already demanded waiver of crop loans and electricity bills of the drought-affected farmers.

“NCP will raise issues of drought and welfare of affected farmers in upcoming Winter Session of the state legislature in Nagpur,” the party spokesman Nawab Malik had said last week.

As many ministers, barring a few, are first time inductees- twenty of them allocated portfolios yesterday–they may find it tough to tackle the aggressive opposition on issues concerning their respective ministries.

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