The monsoon session of the state legislature that begins today will be a tough one for the Congress-led government, which will face criticism from the Opposition over the July 13 serial blasts in the city and have to explain what it is doing to catch the culprits and prevent further attacks.
Apart from the 12 new and six pending bills that will be tabled in the session, issues such as the city’s crumbling infrastructure, mill land and the law-and-order situation, in the backdrop of the rising number of crimes against women, are also likely to be raised.
“We are ready to answer all questions and discuss all issues related to Mumbai’s security with the Opposition. We will put forth what we have done,” said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, talking to the media about issues that would be discussed at the three-week session.
“As far as Mumbai’s security is concerned, we will state the facts, but right now we cannot disclose sensitive matter related to the blasts,” Chavan said while answering a query on the blast investigations.
Reacting to the BJP-Sena demand that free houses be given to mill land workers, which is scheduled for a separate discussion, Chavan said the government needs to assess the situation and take a decision. “Right now, of the 58 mills, only 41 have given their proposals to Mhada, which is building the homes. There are about 1.6 lakh applications for homes as of now. We need to take decisions on whether to give homes to the next of kin, what the cut-off date should be and finally how many homes we have,” he said.
Chavan criticised the BJP and Shiv Sena for their absence at the customary tea party on Sunday, a day before the session begins.
“We acknowledge that there are important issues and it would have been better if the Opposition leaders would have come and talked about it face to face instead of sending a letter highlighting issues,” he said.