‘Fireworks’ expected during Monsoon Session

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Jul 2018 10:27:35


Staff Reporter,

Opposition strategy meet today, likely to boycott customary tea party

Ongoing war of words between ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena Government and Opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party is likely to escalate during ensuing Monsoon Sessions commencing from Wednesday. The combined meeting of all Opposition parties will be held on Tuesday afternoon to fine-tune strategy to corner the Government during three week long session while ruling combine will continue with its successful tactics of launching a quick offensive to put the opposition on the mat.

Congress tried to up the ante by levelling an allegation of land scam against Government on the eve of session, which was stoutly denied by the BJP leaders with a warning to initiate defamation proceedings. Winter Session held at Nagpur and subsequent budget session held at Mumbai was completely dominated by farm loan waiver, agrarian distress, problems faced by sugarcane growers and individual charges levelled against some ministers are likely to be aggressively pursued by the Opposition.

Re-entry of NCP stalwart Chhagan Bhujbal after a gap of two and half years will be keenly watched while legislative performance of new state president of NCP and former finance minister Jayant Patil will also be under scanner. As usual, the Opposition is likely to boycott the customary tea party hosted by Chief Minister at his official residence Ramgiri on the eve of session.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will also be holding parleys with his cabinet colleagues and party leaders on Tuesday to counter the attack. During last three and half years, the Opposition has miserably failed to corner Fadnavis Government in the house and on most of the occasions, Chief Minister single-handedly returned the fire with aplomb. With alliance partner Shiv Sena also striking a discordant chord, the Government will have to act more carefully.

However, apart from legislative business, the main focus of this session will be on council elections slated on July 16 in which 11 members of Upper House will be elected by members of legislative assembly. Out of these 11 members, four belong to NCP, three are from Congress, two from BJP and one each from Shiv Sena and PWP respectively.

As per the poll schedule announced by the Election Commission, the last date for filing nominations is July 5 and hence first two days of Monsoon Sessions are likely to be utilised by all parties to finalise candidates and pacify dissidents. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on Friday while last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is next Monday. The quota required by contesting candidates to win is 25 votes since the total strength of house of 289 (288 members and one Anglo-Indian nominated).

Considering the present numerical strength in the Legislative Assembly, BJP can comfortably win five seats followed by Shiv Sena which can bag three seats, while
Congress-NCP can safely win one seat each and can also help sitting PWP MLC Jayant Patil to retain his seat. The current party-wise strength in the 78 member legislative council is as follows: NCP (20), Congress (18), BJP (20), Sena (11), JD-U (1), PWP-I (1), PRP 1, Independents 6. After July 16 polls, the BJP will become largest party in the upper house.