Winter session of Maharashtra state legislature to start tomorrow

Sunday, 8 December 2013 - 7:41am IST | Agency: DNA
Opposition seeks better farm prices, plans roadblock across state.

The murder of anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar, the Shakti Mills gang-rape incident, the Adarsh housing society scam inquiry report not being tabled and the bill against black magic and superstition will dominate the winter session of the state legislature in Nagpur, which commences on Monday.

The state government, led by the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), may come under fire from opposition over these issues.

The agitation by sugarcane cultivators, demanding better prices, the need to preserve INS Vikrant and plans to include swathes of residential areas in the heritage list in Mumbai may also figure in the deliberations.

Leader of opposition Eknath Khadse told dna that they would take on the state government over issues like deteriorating law and order, backwardness of Vidarbha and the Adarsh report not being tabled in the legislature.

“The law and order situation in the state has gone to the dogs,” charged Shiv Sena MLA Vinod Ghosalkar, adding that crimes against women were on the rise.

The opposition will also attack the government on the gang rape of a photojournalist in the Shakti Mills compound in Mahalaxmi.

Ghosalkar added that while the state was trying to push through a bill on banning black magic and superstitions, some religious and warkari groups had questioned the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Ordinance, 2013.

“Warkari groups and others want a discussion on it. It should not be passed solely on the basis of majority votes,” said Ghosalkar.

The state cabinet had approved the long-pending bill, championed by Dabholkar for years, as an ordinance, after protests over his murder in Pune in August by two unidentified assailants.

“We will also focus on the developmental backlog of backward areas like Vidarbha and Marathwada as the Nagpur session is meant to focus on these issues,” said Ghosalkar, claiming that they will also discuss inflation.

The state government is unable to ensure reasonable prices for sugarcane farmers and cooperative sugar mills are being lapped up by private firms fronting for politicians.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde said the party will organise a rasta roko across Maharashtra on Monday to demand better prices for sugarcane, cotton and soyabean farmers and to protest against the high power charges.

Munde, a Lok Sabha MP from Beed and the party’s deputy leader in the House, said the Shiv Sena and the BJP will also seek a discussion on the issue in the legislature.

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