Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will skip the customary legislature session-eve tea party here on Sunday, an event which has been boycotted by Opposition Congress over farmer and drought issues.
The winter session of Maharashtra legislature will be beginning here, the State's second capital, from December 8.
As per the tradition, the customary tea party is hosted by the Chief Minister, who invites Opposition and ruling members for the event ahead of a session.
Fadnavis is proceeding to New Delhi to attend a conference of Chief Ministers called by the Centre and will not be available here throughout the day. He has conveyed his unavailability to Opposition leaders and expressed regrets for his absence, official sources said today.
In Fadnavis' absence, the event, a platform for informal interaction between the Government and Opposition, a senior Cabinet Minister is likely to host the get together.
This is perhaps the first time a Chief Minister will not be meeting Opposition leaders on the eve of a session.
When in Opposition, the Shiv Sena-BJP had regularly boycotted the tea party hosted by Congress Chief Ministers.
Meanwhile, Congress, which is in contention for Leader of Opposition post after Sena joined the BJP-led Government, has decided to boycott the tea party to protest the Fadnavis-led administration's "failure" to address key issues.
The new BJP-led Government has failed to address the issues of agriculturists in Vidarbha where farmer suicide has once again raised its ugly head, Congress deputy leader in Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar told PTI.
"The number of farmers' suicides so far this year stood at 568 and a drought-like situation is looming large in parts of Vidarbha and entire Marathwada. It would not be appropriate on our part to accept the invite for tea when the Government is inactive," he added.