M'rashtra winter session to open on stormy note

M'rashtra winter session to open on stormy note

The winter session of the Maharashtra legislature, the first full-fledged Assembly session for the Devendra Fadnavis government, is expected to be stormy.

The government is expecting the opposition to raise issues like the drought-like situation in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions and farmer suicides. The demand for statehood to Vidarbha, too, would be a critical issue as the chief minister is from the region.

Since January, there has been over 400 suicides by farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha region and the state government has sought a relief package of Rs 4,000 crore from the Centre.

Over 19,000 villages in the state has been affected by the drought which is said to be severe than what Maharashtra experienced in 1972.

When the Shiv Sena was in the Opposition, party chief Uddhav Thackeray and his 63 MLAs visited the drought-affected areas and sought relief for the farmers. Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse had come under fire by the Shiv Sena, which targeted him for his comments. Khadse had said, “if farmers can pay mobile phone bills, why not electricity bills.”

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), too, were critical of the comments. The two parties will make their presence felt by attempting to corner the government. All eyes are on Speaker Haribhau Bagde, who will take a final call on this complex issue.  The Legislative Council, too, is expected to see a divided Opposition with the NCP claiming the post of leader of the Opposition and that of the Chairman.

The incumbent Shivajirao Deshmukh of the Congress could lose out as the NCP has more seats in the Upper House.

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