From inclusion of tainted ministers in the state Cabinet, ‘hooliganism’ from ruling party MLAs, putting a stay on the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s schemes and lack of relief aid to farmers affected by floods, the opposition parties in Maharashtra on Tuesday raised several issues and said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should control their MLAs from disrupting law and order in the state.
The Opposition said the present state government has been formed by ripping apart democracy and it is based on the foundation of betrayal, which has no legal sanction. It alleged that Shinde has been taking decisions to halt development and welfare schemes in the state under pressure from ‘someone’.
“A Shinde-supporter MLA is giving a call to break legs of Shiv Sena workers and to assault them. Another MLA is openly beating a government official. Has power gone to their heads already? And what are CM Shinde and Deputy CM Fadnavis doing? Shouldn’t they control their MLAs,” asked Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Ajit Pawar. He was speaking at a joint press conference of Opposition parties in the state on the eve of the Monsoon Session of the state legislature.
He was referring to a speech made by Mumbai’s Magathane constituency MLA Prakash Surve when he asked his supporters to beat up supporters of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. In another incident, another Shinde supporter, MLA Santosh Bangar, is seen in a video beating a government official over the quality of food in mid-day meal scheme. The videos have both gone viral.
The Chief Minister on Tuesday ordered a probe against both leaders.
Leader of Opposition in state Council Ambadas Danve alleged that the government has shown negligence in an incident of sexual assault on a woman in Bhandara district. “The district had no superintendent of police for seven days,” said Danve. He alleged that Sena workers who are not supportive of Shinde have been served notices by police in an attempt to intimidate them.
Referring to the inclusion of tainted ministers in the Cabinet, Pawar said the CM and deputy CM must clarify whether the allegations of corruption and other criminal offences against these ministers in the past were true.
The Opposition also boycotted the tea party organised by the government. “At a time when lakhs of hectares of farm land is affected by floods, more than 125 people have lost their lives and students are forced to stop their education, the government should have called us for a discussion instead of inviting us for a tea party,” said Pawar.
In a letter to Shinde, Opposition parties have said that he has stayed a decision which he had taken as minister in the previous government. “People of the state feel that you are under pressure from someone to take decisions which are anti-development and against welfare,” it said, referring to the decision of handing over a plot in the Bandra-Kurla Complex at a nominal price for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project as well as finalising Aarey colony for Metro III and Kanjur Marg for Metro VI car sheds.
“The government issued 750 decisions in 40 days at a time when the deputy CM had no portfolios. The act of taking decisions in a centralised manner is against the very nature of democracy,” it added.
The Opposition also slammed the state government’s decision to double the relief aid to farmers than the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), adding that the previous government had decided to triple the amount. “The original NDRF amount per hectare is extremely small and doubling it will not help farmers,” said Pawar. He warned the government to prepare for flood situation in many villages on the banks of rivers as majority of dams in the state are full.