Week-long Maha winter session from tomorrow to be a stormy affair

Mumbai: The week-long winter session of Maharashtra legislature from December 16 is all set to be a stormy affair with Maha Vikas Aghadi partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress and BJP-led Opposition pitted against each other on several issues. Fireworks are expected over crop loan waiver scheme and revised compensation package for farmers hit by untimely rains, implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act, Rahul Gandhi's Savarkar barb, BJP leader Anant Hegde's controversial statement that Devendra Fadnavis was made CM for three days to transfer Central funds worth Rs 40,000 crore and MVA government's reviewing/staying a slew of decisions taken by the previous BJP-led government.

Further, MVA partners are keen to target BJP for hiding the information about the public debt which has now surged to Rs 6.71 lakh crore and the decision by Fadnavis-led government for vitiating the tendering procedure for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial in the Arabian Sea.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's close confidant and parliamentary minister Eknath Shinde has said the government is fully prepared to face the opposition. On the other hand, Fadnavis has termed MVA government as ''khichadi'' sarkar but in a series of interviews has said that BJP will like to give some time for the new government to settle. However, Fadnavis and his colleagues have hinted that opposition will corner MVA government for its move to stay a number of development projects in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra.

BJP has dared Thackeray not to succumb to pressure from the Congress party but to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state and take all steps to deport intruders from the state. Shinde has clarified that ''No community will have to live in fear in Maharashtra.''

Similarly, BJP will corner Shiv Sena in particular on Gandhi's statement that he is not Savarkar. It aims to divide the MVA alliance partners.

MVA partners are ready to turn the table on BJP and Fadnavis in particular by exposing factionalism and dissent by a veteran leader Eknath Khadse and former minister Pankaja Munde. Congress and NCP have sent out separate invitations for joining their respective parties while Shiv Sena has asked BJP to pay attention to keeping its house in order instead of targeting the government. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has declared that it won't side with BJP in the state as much water has flown under the bridge.

However, the opposition will grill MVA government's silence on providing loan waiver and higher compensation to farmers affected by unseasonal rains. MVA partners admit that it is a major challenge to mop up at least Rs 20,000 crore for the higher package to farmers hit by untimely rains and a whopping Rs Rs 35,000 crore for complete loan waiver. There are constraints on the mobilization of resources because of limited fiscal space. Thackeray has not yet given up but reiterated that the government will make all efforts to keep its promise.

As far as Hegde's claim of return of Rs 40,000 crore to the Centre during three days of chief ministership of Fadnavis, Shiv Sena legislator Abdul Sattar has announced that the party is not happy by Fadnavis' clarification but will corner him.

Meanwhile, Congress and NCP expect Khadse, who is sulking over his neglect by the BJP leadership, to announce his plans in Nagpur. Khadse has sought stern action against the party insiders who have allegedly worked for the defeat of his daughter Rohini and former minister Pankaja Munde. He had announced to take an extreme step if the party fails to act.

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