Maharashtra Budget Session to be stormy

Maharashtra Budget Session to be stormy

It’s not going to be easy sailing for Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Credit: PTI Photo

With the alarming Covid-19 situation, the Maha Vikas Aghadi may have curtailed the Budget Session of Maharashtra Legislature but the Opposition BJP has trained its guns with plenty of issues in hand.

It’s not going to be easy sailing for Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The March 1 to 10 Session, which was earlier slated to be held for the entire month, will also discuss the current surge in the Covid-19 cases and the vaccination programme.

“The session has been curtailed to avoid discussions,” leader of the Opposition and ex-chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

Also read — Covid-19 active cases cross 60,000 mark in Maharashtra

Two ministers – forests minister Sanjay Rathod of the Shiv Sena and social justice and special assistance minister Dhananjay Munde of the NCP – are at the receiving end. Rathod, a leader from the Banjara community, is facing allegations vis-a-vis the death of TikTok star Pooja Chavan. After remaining incommunicado for a fortnight, Rathod staged a show of strength when he visited the Pohradevi temple in Washim district, where hundreds of his supporters thronged, flouting the Covid-19 pandemic norms and protocols.

On the other hand, Munde, the nephew of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, was accused of rape by a Mumbai-based singer Renu Sharma, with whose sister Karuna Sharma he had a long relationship and sired two children.  Later, however, Renu withdrew the complaint. Karuna later alleged that Munde had confined their two children in Chitrakoot, the official bungalow of the minister.

Also read — Woman withdraws rape complaint against Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde

The BJP leadership has been demanding dismissals of the two ministers. 

The January 9 fire at the Special Newborn Care Unit of District General Hospital in Bhandara in which 10 infants were killed, is also one of the issues that would be raised by the opposition.

Also read — FIR registered against 2 nurses in Bhandara hospital fire case

On March 1, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will address the joint session of the Maharashtra legislature, while on March 8, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance and planning portfolios, would table the state budget for the year 2021-22.

In fact, Koshyari and the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government are at loggerheads.

Recently, the Governor sent a letter to Thackeray to conduct the election of the Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly as Nana Patole resigned to become the state Congress president.

“I had resigned and handed over the charge to deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal. The post of the deputy speaker is a Constitutional post,” said Patole.

In November last year, after Cabinet meetings, the MVA government had forwarded 12 names to be nominated as members in the Maharashtra Legislative Council from the Governor’s quota. However, the Governor has not cleared the names. Among those whose names were recommended include Urmila Matondkar, who had joined the Shiv Sena and Eknath Khadse, who left the BJP to join the NCP.

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