Apart from the controversial Ram Pradhan Committee report on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the winter session of the state legislature, which starts here on Tuesday, is expected to be stormy, fuelled by other issues like farm suicides, compensation for victims of Cyclone Phyan, and continued Naxalite violence in eastern Vidarbha.
This will be the Ashok Chavan government’s first full session after it returned to power in November. No issues were discussed in the special three-day session held in Mumbai last month.
The Opposition has already pushed the ruling alliance into a corner by moving a breach of privilege motion against the chief minister, home minister, additional chief secretary (home) and Pradhan for allegedly leaking the report to the media.
“We will stall the House if the government does not take serous note of the cyclone victims, and also table the Pradhan committee report in the legislature,” said Opposition leader Eknath Khadse.
The Opposition attended the CM's customary tea party, but did not accept any state hospitality. Chavan said his government was ready to discuss all issues related to welfare, but did not give any assurance on tabling the Pradhan report. “Home Minister (R.R. Patil) will decide on this,” he said. Patil will reportedly be the Opposition’s prime target.
The Opposition also has the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on its side, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (to which Khadse belongs) assuring the MNS of help in getting the suspension of four MNS members revoked.
The Shiv Sena has stayed silent on the suspension issue that rocked the November Assembly session, which saw four MNS members suspended from the House for four years for assaulting Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi.
The Opposition also demanded the government release a white paper on the implementation of the relief package announced for farmers in suicide-hit Vidarbha. “They should disclose what happened to the farmers’ relief package, and why farmer suicides are still happening,” Khadse said.
Chavan also said he will order an inquiry into the alleged lapses in the implementation of the farmers’ package.