Nagpur: Development of Vidarbha received a major push with BJP Government initiating and announcing a slew of measures even as the Winter Session of Maharashtra Legislature completed the business of five days of the second week. The Ruling Party, as in the first week, continued its good work and stole the show in the eventful second week, too. The BJP-Shiv Sena Government, led by adept Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, again scored major points over the lackluster and issueless Opposition. The Opposition benches tried hard to put the Government on the mat over the issue of hailstorms and unseasonal rain in North Maharashtra, poor education scenario, spread of Dengue and other diseases, custodial deaths, energy situation, separate Mumbai and other issues. However, the Government succeeded in turning tables on Opposition members themselves by announcing adequate relief to hailstorm-hit farmers. The Government also initiated significant steps the rot in education field, tackle health issues, augmentation of energy sector and investor-friendly industrial policy. In sum, the Government checkmated the Opposition over almost all issues of importance many of which were the outcome of their wrong-doing. Here are some of the highlights of second week of Winter Session:
Ruling Party’s scoring points:
• Replying to the discussion on Vidarbha’s backlog and development initiated by Opposition, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis blamed the Opposition (rulers for most years) for backward Vidarbha. The step-motherly treatment meted out to the region since long resulted in demand for separate Vidarbha state. At the same time the Chief Minister Fadnavis vowed to develop Vidarbha and announced and initiated a slew of schemes and measures to achieve the goal.
• The 44-odd BJP MLAs of the region pitched for Vidarbha Statehood for overall development. During the discussion, the MLAs brought the reasons that were scuttling development of Vidarbha under sharp focus.
• In view of rising incidents of poaching of wildlife and illegal tree felling, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the State Government will be coming up with new forest protection plan.
• The Education Minister Vinod Tawde gave a major push to augment education sector and conrol the declining standards. Stopping of negative marking in medical CET, reforms in curriculum and other crucial changes and initiatives in education field marked Tawde’s reply. Tawde said the education should be considered a focal point to reach the students. Reforms in curriculum in today’s needs should not be seen as saffronization of education. For the augmentation of Marathi schools and Marathi education, every MLA will be asked to adopt one school each, said Tawde.
• The new ITES policy of Maharashtra Government will go extra investor-friendly with the inclusion of manufacturing sectors related to IT and telecommunications in it. The new Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) policy is to be implemented from April next year in the State. One of the main features of the new policy will be making power available to industries at cheap rate.
• Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said that the devastating hailstorms and rains have left standing crops in one lakh hectare, spreading over 893 villages and towns, flat. This is the first time that such scale of devastation is being witnessed. Fruit orchards in 25,000 hectares have taken the brunt. Mango and cashew crops in Konkan have been destructed. Khadse announced cash and other relief to affected farmers.
• The Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in his reply to growing investment scams in State declared punitive action against the bogus investment companies. Fadnavis said the properties of accused in investment scams will be seized and auctioned. The duped investors would be provided justice and their money returned. The Chief Minister’s reply came when the infamous Raviraj investment scam of Nagpur figured in Assembly with members raising issue of duping of hundreds of investors to the tune of crores of rupees. BJP MLAs Sudhakar Kohale, Vikas Kumbhare and Krishna Khopde raised the issue and sought Government’s course of action.
• Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asserted that no force on the earth can separate Mumbai from Maharashtra. The suggestion of a committee for Mumbai headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meant for the fast track development of the city. Mumbai is inseparable part of Maharashtra and no power on this earth can separate the mega city from the State, said Fadnavis during a marathon debate on the Motion of Thanks on Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s joint address to both the Houses of State Legislature.
• Entire Opposition revoked its decision to boycott the Winter Session in view of drought situation in State and for the cause of distressed farmers. The Opposition’s boycott decision had followed suspension of NCP’s Jitendra Awhad for his objectionable words against Chief Minister Fadnavis.
• The Opposition created turmoil over the Editorial published in a Marathi Daily ‘Loksatta’ on December 16 that mocked at the present agonizing condition of farmers and villagers and termed their suicides as bogus. The issue was raised in the House by Jitendra Awhad, Chhagan Bhujbal, Ashish Shelar, and Balasaheb Thorat. The members strongly protested the contents of the Editorial and demanded stern action against the Marathi daily. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had to calm down the flared tempers by stating the action to depict the farmers in poor light is condemnable. The media should understand its responsibilities. The media should use its powers in a positive way.
• The stalemate on non-appointment of a Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra legislative council, even ten days after the commencement of the winter session, intensified when Congress and NCP members again stalled the proceedings seeking an immediate announcement on as to who will occupy the post.
• The deadly Dengue and other diseases causing havoc in State found the place in a Call Attention Motion raised by members in Legislative Assembly. NCP members even staged a walk out charging inadequate measures by Government in controlling the spread of diseases. The members said that so far more than 25,000 patients have been found affected by Dengue, Malaria, Gastro, Typhoid, Hepatitis, TB, Swine Flu and other diseases across in the State including Vidarbha. Over 250 are dead. An acute shortage of platelet is being faced. The rural areas are abysmally lacking dengue treatment. Moreover, the private hospitals have been found exploiting the patients and minting money. Even the High Court has intervened in the matter but the State Government is not serious in tackling the diseases.
• The recent death of a detainee during his custody at Ganeshpeth police station heated up the Legislative Council during the ongoing Winter Session.
• The second day of second week of Winter Session began with Assembly taking up the issue of destruction and deaths caused by recent hailstorms and unseasonal rains in North Maharashtra. The Opposition raised the issue and demanded adequate relief measures.
• Love Jihad, LBT, power-cuts, ‘separate plan of Mumbai,’ border issues create heat in House.