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Public participation in Opposition protests worries BJP

The involvement of general public, particularly farmers, in protests led by Opposition over key issues during the just concluded winter session of Maharashtra Legislature has worried the ruling BJP in the state.

“The huge turnout during the Congress protests means there is something wrong in the government, and that the government may not have lived upto its expectations,” a senior BJP minister said on condition of anonymity.

The Congress led a huge protest against the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance during first week of the winter session.

“We succeeded in gathering people and farmers who are distressed by price hike of essential commodities like tur dal. Farmers are disappointed due to the natural calamities, no market for their yield and ignorance of the state government,” claimed party’s whip Sanjay Dutt.

Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde also levelled a slew of graft charges against the BJP-led state government, alleging that corruption was rampant in various state departments and sought resignation of their ministers in charge.

Munde touched on a host of issues concerning civil supply, education, energy, agriculture and tribal development departments to buttress his point.

“In the last two days of the session, the NCP left a strong impression on the Chief Minister through Munde and Ajit Pawar, that one needs brains to run a government (to counter the Opposition’s onslaught effectively),” an NCP leader said.

However, despite protests, the Congress failed to get a financial package approved for farmers.

Also, in the Lower House, former CM Prithviraj Chavan raised specific points over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Smart city’ project and forced state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to clarify on the issue.

While the Congress and NCP succeeded in cornering the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena over a host of issues in Upper House, differences were apparent between them in the Lower House.

Sena spokesperson Dr. Neelam Gorhe claimed that NCP is day dreaming that it can mould the BJP according to its will, only because the Prime Minister, Chief Minister and other prominent leaders attended the birthday programme of NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi.

“NCP may think they can use BJP and that was reflected in the House through their behaviour. Thankfully, at least this incident has shown the BJP who their real friend is,” she said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Sanjay Dutt said it would be a challenge before the Opposition to keep the tempo created in the winter session, to last upto the next Legislature session scheduled to begin in March next year.

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