Oppn boycotts CM's tea party, stormy session expected | india | Hindustan Times
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Oppn boycotts CM's tea party, stormy session expected

The winter session of the state assembly, which begins here on Monday, is expected to be stormy. The Opposition parties boycotted the customary tea party hosted by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on the eve of the session.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2011 01:54 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

The winter session of the state assembly, which begins here on Monday, is expected to be stormy. The Opposition parties boycotted the customary tea party hosted by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on the eve of the session.

The Opposition said the Democratic Front government had failed miserably in offering a solution to the ongoing agrarian crisis in the state.

"How can we have tea with the chief minister when farmers in Vidarbha, Marathwada and Khandesh are suffering and ending their lives by swallowing poison in front of the chief minister," said Eknath Khadse, the leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, adding that a farmer from Dhamangaon in Amravati district tried to end his life by consuming poison at the chief minister's election rally last week.

They would stall the proceedings of the legislature if the government fails to announce a bailout package for distressed farmers in Vidharbha as well as the central and northern parts.

Many farmers in the state had committed suicide after failing to get a better price for raw cotton, he said.

Khadse said the state was trying to fool the people by stating that it was not announcing a bailout package, citing the election code of conduct.

He demanded that the government should at least compensate the cotton growers on the lines of the aid that is offered to sugarcane farmers, Rs25,000 per hectare.

The Opposition parties held a meeting at Khadse's residence on Sunday and arrived at a consensus on the issues to be raised in the House.

He said that the Shiv Sena-BJP and MNS would raise 22 issues, including the increase in the minimum support price for raw cotton, soyabean and paddy and will seek replies from the government.

Chavan, however, appealed to the Opposition not to disrupt the House proceedings. "We are discussing the issue in the Cabinet's meeting and will take a decision regarding the compensation package for cotton, paddy and soyabean growers. It will be announced in the legislature," he said.

Chavan added that the state election commission had earlier advised the government to avoid taking any major policy decision owing to the election code of conduct.