Denying the Opposition’s allegation that he was not being able to give enough time towards his responsibility of handling the state’s home department, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said he was working overtime as home minister of the state.
“I am working overtime as home minister and I can work longer hours to handle the responsibilities,” Fadnavis said in reply to Opposition leader in the assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil’s allegations that the former was not being able to give time to the department. The Opposition has been demanding that there should be a separate home minister to handle the important portfolio that deals with maintaining law and order and tackling crime in the state.
In reply to the debate, Fadnavis also refuted the allegations that crimes against women were on the rise in the state. “We expanded the scope of the crime against women because of which certain crimes such as molestation are also being recorded as rape. Further, people are now encouraged to report the crimes. As such, the number of such cases are increasing,”he said. The situation has changed since 2013 and more people are coming forward to register complaints of crime against women, he said. Fadnavis was referring to the incident of rape and murder in Delhi in December 2012 that led to angry reactions from across the nation. He also said that 97% of the crimes against women were found to be committed by people they know. He also said that the number of serious crimes has decreased by 5% in 2016 as compared to the previous year.
Talking about the incidents of attacks on police personnel, Fadnavis said the government has taken them seriously and made changes in the law to ensure stern punishment for the accused. The two-year sentence is being increased to five years, he pointed out.
Earlier, Vikhe-Patil and NCP legislator Jayant Patil came down heavily on the state government, accusing it of failure to control the deteriorating law-and-order situation in the state.
Productive session of the legislature
Though the Parliament’s winter session was a washout, Maharashtra legislature worked to clear 23 bills in its ten-day long session. Assembly speaker Haribhau Bagde said the assembly worked for 66 hours 40 minutes while 3 hour 10 minutes were wasted due disruption over various issues. It worked for an average 6 hours 40 minutes every day. The budget session of state legislature will start in Mumbai from March 6, 2017.
Will request Centre to invest in agriculture
Fadnavis said he would request Prime Minister Modi to ask the banks to invest more in agriculture since they now have funds post-demonetisation. He however turned down Opposition’s demand for loan waiver for the farmers.
Nagpur metro trial runs to start by 2017
Fadnavis said the metro in Nagpur was being built at a fast pace and its trial runs would be started by the end of 2017. He also said Nagpur will get new passenger terminal and air cargo hub at the airport.
Study to find out causes of infection
Public health minister Deepak Sawant told the assembly that a study is being conducted into the reasons of child deaths in tribal areas. Besides, malnutrition, it is doubted that infection is a major reason for deaths among the children. As such, a study is being conducted to find out what kind of virus is responsible for the same. A report on the same is expected in a month, he said.