Mumbai: Erstwhile ruling partners Congress and NCP may come together to take on the BJP government in Maharashtra on various issues including the "delay" in distribution of aid to drought-hit farmers, which will be presenting its maiden budget in the Legislature session beginning here from March 9.
"I have spoken to (State Congress president) Ashok Chavan and (Leader of Opposition in Assembly) Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. The Congress proposed to us to discuss a few things before the budget session starts and this proposal is completely acceptable to us."
"Welfare of the people of the state is of paramount importance and issues relating to them need to be put up before the government. Before the session starts, the Congress and the NCP will sit together and decide our strategy for the session," NCP state unit president Sunil Tatkare told reporters here.
The Budget will be tabled in the legislature on March 18.
Tatkare also alleged the "delay" by state government in distributing the aid to the drought-hit farmers has resulted in the growing incidents of suicides by farmers.
Since its inception, the government has only been making announcements, but has yet not been able to deliver on them, he added.
"The government announced a Rs 7,000 crore package in the previous Assembly session, but has yet not disbursed it. This has led to a rise in farmer suicides in the drought-prone regions. The unseasonal rains that were witnessed last week damaged 7.5 lakh hectares of land (but) the CM is yet to provide real help to the affected farmers here also. This issue will be taken up in the session as well," Tatkare said.
On Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's remarks that Mumbai's Development Plan will be "thrown into the dustbin" if it does injustice to citizens, Tatkare said it is an irony that Thackeray has made such comments.
"The BMC is controlled by the Shiv Sena and the BJP. If he was indeed concerned about the Plan doing injustice, he should have raised objections in the general body and not now when the draft bill is ready. It is ironical of him to talk about throwing the DP into a dustbin now," the NCP leader said.
Reiterating his party's stand on the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, Tatkare said the state government needs to immediately set up a mechanism to take unproductive cattle under its care.
The Bill, banning the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks, recently got the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee.