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India

On eve of monsoon session, CM, Oppn. exchange ‘virtual’ barbs

The Opposition parties on Sunday said they will take on the State government during the monsoon session of the Legislature over the absence of drought relief works, as all its measures were only “virtual” and nothing has materialised on ground. The session is set to begin on Monday.

In response, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said it was the Opposition that needed to come out of its “virtual” perception, as it is cut off from the ground, and see the support the government is gaining among citizens.

The government will presenting the State Budget on Tuesday, while 28 Bills will be discussed in the session — the last ahead of the Assembly polls.

Leader of Opposition in the Council Dhananjay Munde said at a joint Opposition press conference, “Be it drought measures or fulfilling promises of reservation made to communities such as Marathas and Dhangars, this government has failed on every front. The number of farmer suicides has risen while urban areas are staring at water shortage. The ministers of this government had to quit because of allegations of corruption, but no case was filed against them. The Opposition stands united and will corner the government.”

Vijay Vadettiwar, the newly appointed Congress group leader in the Assembly, said the Opposition will pursue allegations made by former Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil against Mr. Fadnavis over irregularities in the Development Plan for Mumbai. Mr. Vikhe-Patil was sworn in as minister in the Chief Minister’s expanded Cabinet on the eve of the monsoon session.

Commenting on Opposition leaders joining the BJP, NCP leader Ajit Pawar said, “Probably they want the government not to conduct any inquiries against them. Some their institutions to function without any problems, or they simply don’t want to be hounded by government agencies.”

Rubbishing the Opposition’s claim that he was luring their leaders to join the BJP, Mr. Fadnavis said they needed to introspect why people are deserting them. Addressing a press conference, Mr. Fadnavis said, “The Opposition is cut off from the ground. Because of their perception [that the government’s functioning was virtual] they suffered such a humiliating defeat in the general elections.”

The CM said the State was in the process of uploading the database of 1.2 crore farmers on the Union government’s portal, which will be used for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana for disbursal of funds ahead of the kharif season.

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