M'rashtra House to witness noise over Dalit unrest
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M'rashtra House to witness noise over Dalit unrest

The stage is set for a stormy winter session of the Maharashtra state legislature, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2006 18:27 IST

The stage is set for a stormy winter session of the Maharashtra state legislature, beginning in Nagpur from December 4.

The Khairlangi Dalit massacre and the subsequent widespread violence in the state would dominate the two-week winter session. The principal Opposition-the BJP and Shiv Sena - is likely to vent their ire on the failure of the state government in preventing large-scale violence in several parts in the state in the wake of the development.

Moreover, the Opposition has taken a strong exception to the state government's failure to take precautionary measures immediately after the Kanpur desecration of Dr Ambedkar's statue that led to the state-wide violence.

The Leader of the Opposition in the state council, Pandurang Fundkar pointed out that the state lost huge public and private properties during the period due to sheer 'carelessness' of the state government. He asserted that the opposition would make it a major issue in both the Houses.

Curiously, the deteriorating law and order situation in the state in the wake of both the developments is likely to overtake the crucial spate of farmers suicide in the region. The political parties are now likely to bake their own cake in the raging fire of the arsoning that was witnessed in the state while cries of the families of the deceased farmers are likely to go virtually unnoticed.

However, Fundkar claimed that the opposition would corner the DF government for its failure to check the on-going farmers' suicide. Around 1,200 farmers have already committed suicide in Vidarbha since June last year.

Both the alliance partners will knock the state government in both the Houses for the fair price to the raw cotton, he informed. The opposition demanded a White Paper on the status of implementation of both the economic packages of the state government and the prime minister, announced few months back.

The saffron brigade had insisted that the state government should keep its promise of giving a minimum procurement price of Rs 2,700 per quintal for raw cotton and total waiving of farmers loans.

The state BJP president and former leader of the Opposition, Nitin Gadkari asserted that the saffron alliance would also demand for 4 per cent loans to farmers in the session.

While both the Houses of the legislature will be adjourned after paying homage to Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshiram and the veteran Gandhian and former speaker of state Assembly, Balasaheb Bharde, on the opening day, the opposition is ready to turn the heat on the ruling democratic front government on December 5. The recent bomb blasts in Mumbai and Malegaon would also rock in both the houses.

Normal life is bound to come to a grinding halt at Nagpur, particularly in the first week of the session, as around 100 different organisations have applied for morchas, dharnas and demonstrations before the Assembly. Most of them would protest against the brutal killings of four members of a Dalit family at Khairlangi in Bhandara district.

In view of the tense situation, an unprecedented police force was deployed in the city to maintain law and order during the session. Over 20 SP rank officers, 50 Dy SPs, 1,000 police officers, 800 women police officers, along with strong 5,000 police personnel were deployed in the city to ensure peace and harmony.

Besides, 10 companies of SRPF and personnel of elite Rapid Action Force would be deployed in the city during the period, informs SM Sayed, the joint police commissioner of Nagpur city.

The city police have already denied permission for a protest march leading to Assembly on the issue of Khairlangi Dalit massacre on the opening day of the session, December 4.

Moreover, the state Assembly will not provide gallery passes to general public this session in view of possible untoward incident in the Assembly campus. This is the first time when such permission was denied to general public.

First Published: Dec 02, 2006 18:27 IST