Maharashtra: Opposition boycotts CM’s tea party on eve of Budget Sessionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra-budget-session-tea-party-devendra-fadnavis-5599376/

Maharashtra: Opposition boycotts CM’s tea party on eve of Budget Session

Says no question of accepting invitation when there is ‘anger across the country over Pulwama’, towards which the BJP has shown ‘zero sensitivity’.

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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held a tea party for his ministers at Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai on Sunday, a day before the Budget session begins at Vidhan Bhavan on Monday. (Express photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Opposition parties on Sunday boycotted the customary tea party hosted by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the eve of the Budget Session of the state legislature. Opposition leaders cited the Pulwama terror attack as the reason for boycotting the tea party.

At a joint press conference, Congress’s Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and NCP’s Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said they would attack the government on the issues including the farm loan waiver, drought, unemployment, Maratha, Dhangar and Muslim reservations, irregularities in the Shivaji Memorial work among others.

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Opposition parties met at the residence of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Leader of the Opposition, at Mumbai on Sunday. (Express photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

Munde said there was no question of accepting the customary tea party when “there is anger across the country” on the Pulwama terror attack. “The BJP government, which has shown zero sensitivity about the Pulwama terror attack by holding rallies before the cremation of the soldiers, should have avoided the tea party,” said Munde.

Munde was accompanied by Vikhe-Patil, Congress legislator and former CM Prithviraj Chavan, NCP state president and legislator Jayant Patil. “There is a severe drought in parts of the state. The government is not providing the water tankers to hide the failure of the Jalyukt Shivar scheme. Now, the government must give drought relief of Rs 50,000 per hectare to the farmers,” Munde added. The NCP leader further said the government “must pass a proposal for giving reservation to the Dhangar community” in both the Houses of legislature. “There are several irregularities in the Shivaji Memorial project and the government must order a probe into it,” said Munde.

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Vikhe-Patil said the government has failed to contain the farmer suicides despite announcing the farm loan waiver scheme, which has not been implemented properly. “Around 12,220 farmers have committed suicides in last four and half years. The government must apologise to the people and announce the complete farm loan waiver till Kharif season of 2018,” he said.

Stating the CM in March last year had announced a mega recruitment of 72,000 posts, Vikhe-Patil said the government “has not done anything in the last one year, but has started the process to appease the unemployed youth”.