Mantralaya fire: Opposition to corner Maha govt

Last Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 20:17

Mumbai: Opposition parties in Maharashtra said they would corner the Congress-led government on various issues, including the last month`s Mantralaya fire, during the Monsoon session which begins on Monday in the Assembly.

The devastating fire at Mantralaya on June 21 had claimed five lives and gutted offices of several ministers.

"If the government cannot not protect the offices of its ministers, then how will it protect people in the state," Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse said during a press conference here.

Khadse said they would demand a comprehensive discussion on the fire incident on the first day of the session itself.

He clarified that the Opposition would attend the customary tea party being hosted this evening.

"We are not interested in the tea party. But, we want to give a representation to them on important issues. We want the session to go on for one month instead of only two weeks," he said.

Elaborating on the point, he said, "It is difficult to discuss all the issues in two weeks. If the government does not extend the session, we will be sure that they are trying to escape from important issues."

Condemning the dissolution of Belgaum Municipal Corporation, he said the issue would be discussed during the session.

"Dissolution of Belgaum Municipal Corporation is an issue of Marathi pride. We expected that the chief minister would condemn the incident, but that did not happen. We want the state government to express disappointment with the Karnataka government on the issue," he said.

In December last year, the Karnataka government had superseded the Belgaum civic body for "not performing its functions" in accordance with the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976.

Commenting on the CBI charge sheet filed against former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in Adarsh scam, Khadse, without naming Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, said that former chief ministers were "deliberately being protected" by the government.

Stating that the debt burden on the state is to the tune
of Rs 2.20 lakh crore, Khadse alleged that the government had suddenly increased the contingency fund by Rs 300 crore.

"If they had to increase the funds, they should have made a provision in the state budget," he said.

Speaking on the issue of irrigation, he said Rs 70,000 crore were spent on irrigation in the last ten years.

"Only 0.1 per cent increase was seen in the irrigation sector in the last ten years. We want to know where the money was diverted. We will force the government to table a white paper on irrigation," he said.

Some other important issues like rising cases of female foeticide, German Bakery blast case accused Qateel Siddiqui`s murder in Yerawada jail and mines scam in the state would be discussed during the session, Khadse added.


First Published: Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 20:17
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