Oppn boycotts CM’s tea party, set to take on govt | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Oppn boycotts CM’s tea party, set to take on govt

Setting the tone for a fiery budget session, Opposition parties on Wednesday boycotted the chief minister’s customary tea party on the eve of the budget session.

mumbai Updated: Mar 18, 2010 02:02 IST
HT Correspondent

Setting the tone for a fiery budget session, Opposition parties on Wednesday boycotted the chief minister’s customary tea party on the eve of the budget session.

The Opposition plans to pin the state down on rising prices, deteriorating law and order and the neglect of Mumbai’s infrastructure during the session beginning on Thursday.

“The government seems to be using the police force to crush the Opposition. Opposition members are beaten up and then the government expects us to attend the tea party,” Leader of Opposition, Eknath Khadse, said.

“Seventeen people died in the Pune blasts. The Union Home Minister said the state neglected intelligence inputs. This shows how irresponsible this government is,” Khadse said.

The BJP leader also criticised the police for its inability to crack the Pune blasts case.

The Opposition also brought up the state’s dwindling financial health reflecting in a debt of Rs 1.90 lakh crore. “The government is giving tax benefits for IPL [Indian Premier League]. Luxury taxes for five star hotels are being waived while farmers suffer,” said Khadse. “This government is only concerned about the rich.” Khadse also said infighting among ministers had become a regular occurrence.

The Opposition put up a united front with Shiv Sena leaders Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote sharing the dais with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislator, Bala Nandgaonkar. Sena leaders had walked out of a press meet before the last session when they saw MNS leaders there.

“The Government is turning this state into a police state and trampling upon the Opposition’s democratic rights,” Desai said.

Nandgaonkar, who spoke after the press conference, said the Opposition would demand action against Samajwadi Party legislator, Abu Asim Azmi, “for his links with terrorists”.

The Delhi police recently questioned Azmi after one of the terrorists who were wanted since they escaped the Batla House encounter mentioned his name to the police.