Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Opposition look to corner Fadnavis govt in monsoon session

The Fadnavis government's woes are set to be compounded by the Shiv Sena, which has been critical of the ruling party on the issues of farm loan waiver and low crop credit disbursement

Mumbai: The opposition Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are all set to corner the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra during the monsoon session of the state legislature beginning in Nagpur on 4 July.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government’s woes are set to be compounded by the Shiv Sena, which has been critical of the ruling party on the issues of farm loan waiver and low crop credit disbursement—issues on which the rejuvenated opposition is likely to take on the government.

The Congress and the NCP are also likely to raise the issues of the mob lynching of five persons in Dhule and other instances of vigilantism and the allegation of a land scam in Navi Mumbai during the session that is set to conclude on 20 July.

A senior BJP minister conceded that the opposition would have a field day exploiting the low crop credit offtake just ahead of sowing. “Of the kharif target of more than 43,000 crore, only about 30% crop loan has been issued so far by the banks. Less than a million of the total 2.9 million farmers in Vidarbha holding bank accounts have benefitted from the farm loan waiver so far. This has created some unrest among farmers and we are not able to politically exploit the loan waiver," the BJP minister said requesting anonymity.

The government is also likely to be taken to task over the law and order situation in the state after recent incidents of mob lynching and vigilantism. On 1 July, a mob in Dhule in north Maharashtra, lynched five beggars after a rumour spread on social media that they ran a child lifting racket. This incident has provided fresh fodder to the opposition and the Shiv Sena, which has in the past demanded that there should be a dedicated home minister.

The state’s law and order situation is likely to come under attack from the opposition after recent incidences of mob lynching and vigilante justice. On 1July, a mob in Dhule in North Maharashtra lynched five beggars over social media a rumour that they ran a racket of child-lifters. Since chief minister Devenra Fadnavis also holds the home portfolio among others, this incident provides fresh fodder to the opposition and even to the Shiv Sena who have in the past demanded that there should be a dedicated home minister in the state.

In a departure from an established practice, the BJP-led government has decided to hold the monsoon session of the state legislature in Nagpur instead of the usual winter session. As per the Nagpur pact signed in 1953, the Maharashtra legislature must have at least one legislative session in a year at Nagpur to take up Vidarbha’s issues. The normal practice has been to hold a winter session in Nagpur, giving Nagpur the name of the winter capital of the state. In the past, only two monsoon sessions have been held in Nagpur in 1961 and 1966.

The legislative agenda for this session comprises introduction of 9 new bills and 10 pending bills presented earlier, according to an official at the state’s legislature. The Fadnavis government is also likely to present supplementary demands during the session. On July 16, the members of the legislative assembly will elect 11 members of the legislative council in place of 11 MLCs whose term ends shortly.

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