Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives for the Budget Session at Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai on Monday. (PTI)
THE budget session of the Maharashtra Assembly got off to a noisy start on Monday as the Opposition BJP accused the Shiv Sena-led State Government of not fulfilling the assurances made to farmers and failing to check the rising crimes against women. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis demanded a discussion on the issue of farmers “not getting” benefits of the loan waiver scheme. He said before the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress came together to form Government in the State, the three parties were demanding that farmers get Rs 25,000 to Rs one lakh per hectare for crop damage.
“There is no clarity on relief to farmers. Only 20,000 farmers are beneficiaries of loan waiver. There needs to be a discussion on this,” the former Chief Minister said. The BJP members then came into the well of the House and shouted slogans against the Uddhav Thackeray Government. Fadnavis also demanded a discussion on rising incidents of crime against women in the State. Amid the noisy scenes, supplementary demands for 2019-2020 and the statement on excess expenditure from 2014 to 2017 were tabled by Finance Minister Ajit Pawar.
Earlier, as soon as the House was convened, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray introduced Congress member Vijay Wadettiwar as Minister of the Bahujan Kalyan Department and the Relief and Rehabilitation Department.Fadnavis asked why Wadettiwar was not present in the Assembly during the last session when all the ministers were introduced. Meanwhile, as the House took up the condolence motion to pay tributes to former legislators, the BJP members went to their seats. The House paid homage to former MLAs Pushpasen Sawant and Kisanrao Raut, who died recently.
Speaker Nana Patole then adjourned the House for the day. BJP stages protest over farm loan waiver, women’s safety: AHEAD of the commencement of Maharashtra Legislature’s Budget session, BJP legislators staged a protest on the steps of the Vidhan Bhawan on Monday, alleging that the Government “failed” to address farmers’ woes and curb crimes against women. They demanded that the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government write off farmers’ debts completely and also provide them a financial assistance of Rs 25,000 per hectare for crop damage.
“There are nearly 34 lakh farmers (eligible for seeking loan waiver), but a list of potential beneficiaries of some 20,000 cultivators is put out today. We condemn this selectiveness of the State Government,” BJP State President Chandrakant Patil said. Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Devendra Fadnavis said the MVA Government has “failed” to protect women in the State. “The rising number of assaults, in which some women even lost their lives, are serious and cannot be ignored,” the former Chief Minister told reporters. Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar also criticised the Government over the issues being faced by farmers and the rising crimes against women. “We are going to corner the State Government over the issues of farmers’ plight and women’s safety,” he said.