The first day of the Budget Session saw the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government adopting a condolence motion for Communist leader Govind Pansare.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal rubbed it in further by lashing out at the “laxity” of the state police in probing the murder case. Pansare, a rationalist, was shot at by unidentified assailants while on a morning walk with his wife in Kolhapur on February 16. He breathed his last five days later.
Already under fire from the Opposition for failure to arrest the murderers, the Fadnavis government had courted more controversy ahead of the Budget Session by suggesting that it would not adopt a condolence motion for Pansare.
But on the first day of the session, the government bowed to the Opposition pressure, and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis introduced the motion. Condemning the attack on Pansare, Fadnavis said it was an attack on the progressive movement.
Speaking on the government’s motion, Bhujbal, a former home minister, paid tributes to the slain leader and targeted the police.
Fadnavis heads the home department. “A true tribute to Pansare would only be when the murderers are brought to book. First it was Dabholkar (anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar was murdered in August 2013) and now Pansare. What is the police machinery doing,” asked Bhujbal. He also attacked state police chief Sanjeev Dayal, who reportedly visited Kolhapur only 18 days after the attack on Pansare.
Meanwhile, the House also adopted a condolence motion for former deputy chief minister (late) R R Patil.
Leaders from both Treasury and Opposition benches paid rich tribute to the departed leaders.
During the motion, Bhujbal, who claimed that two doctors were aware of Patil’s medical condition (he died of cancer) for over nine months, questioned their decision of not disclosing the diagnosis to Patil’s close friends and relatives.