Maharashtra assembly session: Oppn sharpens its knife over scams

Updated on Jul 23, 2015 11:14 PM IST
The Congress and NCP are planning to mount an attack on the ruling party by initiating a discussion on the irregularities surrounding BJP ministers Pankaja Munde, Vinod Tawde, Dr Ranjit Patil and Babanrao Lonnikar.
Maharashtra-chief-minister-Devendra-Fadnavis-arrives-for-the-budget-session-of-the-state-legislature-in-Mumbai-HT-photo
Maharashtra-chief-minister-Devendra-Fadnavis-arrives-for-the-budget-session-of-the-state-legislature-in-Mumbai-HT-photo
Hindustan Times | ByKunal Purohit, Mumbai

The Devendra Fadnavis-led government is all set to face the Opposition storm from Friday. The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are planning to mount an attack on the ruling party by initiating a discussion on the irregularities surrounding BJP ministers Pankaja Munde, Vinod Tawde, Dr Ranjit Patil and Babanrao Lonnikar.

Sources in both parties have confirmed the Opposition’s plans to intensify protests against the government by demanding resignations of all four ministers. Some legislators said the strategy had been discussed in party meetings and they’d been instructed to demand the ministers’ resignations.

To begin with, the Congress-NCP has moved an adjournment motion in the Legislative Council on the issue of the alleged financial irregularities by Munde and Tawde. Such a motion, however, may not be approved in the Assembly where the BJP-Sena enjoys a comfortable majority.

This discussion is likely to slip into the next week and the Opposition wants to ensure that the government is put on the mat. What makes the Opposition more determined to disrupt proceedings and embarrass the government is the failure of the Congress-NCP to force the government to declare a waiver of farm loans.

Senior NCP leader Hemant Takle said: “We are clear about this --- nothing less than their resignations will do. Even during the ’95 Sena-BJP government, when three of their ministers resigned pending inquiry, there must be a thorough probe till which time these ministers must go,” said Takle.

Another Congress legislator said the two parties were planning to disrupt the functioning of the legislature this week itself after Fadnavis’ statement on Monday. However, the death of Pankaja’s grandmother in the family bastion of Beed may have earned the BJP some breathing space.

“There was a feeling that targeting Pankaja during such a tragedy may be in a bad taste. Hence, we delayed our agitation to Friday,” added the legislator.

Congress MLC Sharad Ranapise, said, “You’ll see a very aggressive Opposition from Friday. The government will be forced to explain all their irregularities.”

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