Maharashtra’s winter session all set for a stormy start
The winter session of Maharashtra assembly will begin in Nagpur on December 16. It will be the first assembly session for Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government.Updated: Dec 16, 2019 07:46 IST
National issues such as the Citizenship Amendment Act and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statement on Veer Savarkar, along with state issues such as relief for farmers hit by unseasonal rain, are likely to heat up the first winter session of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which starts in Nagpur on Monday.
Gandhi’s jibe has given unexpected ammunition to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), especially with the headquarters of its ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh based in Nagpur. The BJP will also raise the issue of CAA, terming the people opposing it “anti-national”. By raking up the two issues in the state legislature, the BJP is attempting to develop cracks between the two ruling parties, Shiv Sena and Congress.
“It is a golden opportunity for us to expose the Sena on both the issues, as it has been finding it difficult to take a strong stand. On CAA it changed its stand, while on the Savarkar issue, the Sena could not come out as strong as it was earlier. It is a victory for us. By raising the issues on the floor of both the houses, we will attempt to expose the Sena and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray again,” said a senior BJP leader.
Political analyst Hemant Desai said, “Shiv Sena chief the late Bal Thackeray had once called for deportation of 14 lakh Bangladeshis living in Mumbai. Based on the statement, the Sena should support the CAA, but it has been indecisive. The BJP and Devendra Fadnavis would try to divide the Sena and its new ally Congress on such issues.”
Relief package for farmers who sustained crop losses owing to unseasonal rain in October and November will be another issue. “During electioneering, Uddhav Thackeray and leaders from the Congress and NCP were demanding relief of ₹25,000-₹1 lakh a hectare. We, as a caretaker government, made a provision of ₹10,000 crore and promised to increase the amount. What is stopping ruling party leaders from fulfilling their assurances,” asked Devendra Fadnavis, leader of opposition in legislative Assembly.
In the backdrop of the debt burden of over ₹6.79 lakh crore (including the loans taken by public undertakings), the Thackeray government has realised the difficulty in keeping the loan waiver promise.
The opposition may also target the government’s decisions over infrastructure projects. Fadnavis has termed the Thackeray government ‘stay government’, with its decision to stay projects, including Metro-3 car shed at Aarey Colony. Thackeray, in reply, has said that no project has been stayed and the government was planning to expedite them. The ruling parties, meanwhile, may try to bank on the voices of dissent from within the BJP leadership. Senior OBC leaders Eknath Khadse, Pankaja Munde, Ram Shinde have openly voiced their discontent about the state leadership. This could play in favour of ruling parties to turn the table on aggressive Opposition.