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    Published On : Mon, Dec 14th, 2020
    National News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    On 1st day, bills tabled; privilege motions and corruption charges exchanged at winter session of Maharashtra

    Mumbai: On the first day of the assembly session, the opposition BJP protested on the steps of Vidhan Bhawan over the issues they claim ailed the state. BJP’s Gopichand Padalkar beat a drum and had mounted a contraption on his back carrying about 20 placards on the issues facing the Dhangar or shepherd community. The police eventually took him away from the premises.

    Leader of opposition Pravin Darekar cornered the government over alleged expenses of 90 crores incurred on renovating official bungalows of ministers, “On the one hand they say they have no funds for salaries of government employees and on the other hand they undertake such extravagant renovations. The BJP will raise this issue in the ongoing session.”

    Dy. Chief Minister Ajit Pawar rubbished the allegations and said, “I do not know where they have got this 90 crore figure from. I spoke to the concerned department, accounting is still on, I don’t know how they arrived at this figure.” Pawar’s cabinet colleague Dhananjay Munde tweeted that he had gained possession of the bungalow only 8 days ago, so the amount quoted against his name by regional television channels could not have possibly been spent by him.

    Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was guarded in his reaction and said, “I do not want to comment on this as the renovation is an ongoing process, but one would have expected less expenditure in pandemic times.” PWD minister Ashok Chavan, under whose department the renovations if any are carried out, said, “Ministerial bungalows are not the private property of ministers and they are 60-70 years old. They need to be renovated every 4-5 years, there is nothing wrong in this.” The opposition also questioned the government over the pending utility bills of ministerial bungalows as revealed in an RTI filed by activist Shakil Ahmed.

    The assembly session began with the reading of the preamble of the Constitution. Speaker Nana Patole commented that holding a 2-day session of the assembly was not feasible for the health of the state’s democracy and urged the government and the opposition to consider a 7-8 day session like other states for the next session. BJP’s Sudhir Mungantiwar also demanded to know whether the session could be extended.

    Later several bills like

    a) the new Shakti law for the crime against women,

    b) a bill to establish special courts for said crimes,

    c) a bill to establish a sports university in the state,

    d) a bill to appoint special officers for administrative purposes in local bodies where elections can’t be held during the pandemic

    e) bills to make changes in property tax and stamp duty in BMC limits etc were tabled in the house. The bills will be taken up for discussion on Tuesday. The BJP has already registered its protest against the tabling of the Shakti bill saying it needed wider discussion with stakeholders before being presented.

    Embattled Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik meanwhile wrote to the speaker seeking a breach of privilege motion against actor Kangana Ranaut and media houses for tweeting about an alleged Pakistani credit card seized from his house by the Enforcement Directorate. The ED had raided his house twice and not found anything incriminating, he claimed in the letter while reiterating that he and his family were co-operating with the investigation. BJP’s Pravin Darekar when asked on the developments, countered saying he would be bringing in a privilege motion against the BMC commissioner, in support of Ranaut.

    Both the houses were adjourned after the Chief Minister, Dy. Chief Minister and leaders of the opposition and other MLAs paid their tributes to the recently deceased legislators. The session is likely to see much action and debate on Tuesday, the second and final day when the tabled bills will come up for discussion.

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