Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said that the government is ready to answer all the questions being raised by the opposition from OBC reservation, irregularities in the conduct of competitive exams, power disconnections, MSRTC strike, excise duty cut on imported liquor to the government’s dealing of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of the winter session of the state legislature that will begin from Wednesday in Mumbai, Mr. Pawar said that the government is just trying to keep down COVID infections and hence a short session has been planned. He added that the session is being held in Mumbai instead of Nagpur due to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s inability to travel; adding that the government is positively considering holding the budget session in Nagpur.

Mr. Pawar said that the government is prepared to hold a short but constructive session. He said a total of 26 bills will be introduced in the session, including the Shakti Bill that proposes strict punishment in cases of crime against women and children.

Talking about the election of assembly speaker at a time when 12 members of the BJP are out on suspension, Mr. Pawar said suspensions are not a political tool but are necessary to run the house in order. He said the BJP is free to bring in a no-confidence motion against the government if it feels that the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena combine is short on numbers.

Shrugging off demands for CBI inquiry into the exam racket, Mr. Pawar said the state police is capable enough to handle the case. It may be recalled that various irregularities have been found in the conduct of exams related to state health services and teachers’ eligibility in the last two weeks with the officials of a firm appointed to set question papers and certain government employees found to be indulging in corrupt practices.

Even though Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray chose to skip the customary tea party, the Deputy Chief Minister said boycott of the tea party by the opposition is not a good precedent as healthy discussions are a part of democracy.

Fadnavis launched a scathing attack against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government


Leader of the opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis launched a scathing attack against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and questioned that when Parliament session can go on for longer durations, then why is the state government curtailing its session time and again.

He said the election for the new Speaker of the legislative assembly is expected to be held in the ensuing session. He, however, ruled that this particular election will be held at a time when twelve MLAs of BJP are under suspension for a period of one year.

It is to be mentioned that 12 BJP MLAs were suspended on 5th of July this year during the monsoon session of the legislature through a resolution over their unruly behavior in the House.

The senior BJP leader said that the ruling dispensation does not trust its own MLAs and fears that they would jump ship, as a reason they have suspended 12 MLAs of the BJP.

He further said that suspending the MLAs of the opposition party shows the level of insecurity that has engulfed the MVA government.

Taking potshots at the government on the cancellation of political reservations for the OBCs in local bodies and municipal corporations, he said that the state government wasted two years but could not collect the empirical data. Fadnavis said, now the government counsel has sought three months’ time from the Supreme Court to collect empirical data.

He also slammed the state government for not reducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) on Petrol and Diesel. He said, when the Centre reduced prices on petrol and diesel as many as 27 states also slashed VAT. However, the Maharashtra government did not show any willingness to reduce the VAT on fuel prices.