Amid complaints from the BJP that the duration of Maharashtra Legislature’s winter session was inadequate to take care of the business listed, state Assembly Speaker Nana Patole on Monday said proper guidelines should be framed to ensure the next budget session is not truncated. He said such a short duration session is ”not good for democracy”.
The two-day winter session of the state Legislature, curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, began on Monday with the tabling of six ordinances and four bills. Expressing displeasure over the short duration of the winter session, Patole said proper guidelines should be framed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the duration of the next budget session is not truncated.
The state budget session is generally held for six weeks in February-March every year. ”Both the government and the opposition should sit together and formulate guidelines,” Patole said.
The monsoon session of the state Legislature was also held for two days in September due to the pandemic. After the winter session began on Monday, six ordinances and four bills, including the Shakti bill to curb violence against women and children, were tabled in the state Assembly.
Deputy Chief Minister and state Finance Minister Ajit Pawar tabled the supplementary demands worth Rs 21,992 crore which will be taken up for discussion on Tuesday. BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar wondered what was the need for so many bills to be tabled when there is no time for comprehensive discussions during the ongoing session.
”What was the need for listing 10 bills? Will the House run for 10 days?” he asked. Mungantiwar complained that legislature committee meetings are not being held in view of the pandemic.
”There is no problem of COVID-19 to start railway services, what is the problem in holding meetings of the legislature committees,” said the former state minister, who is chairman of the public accounts committee. Some committees are not formed at all, Mungantiwar said, noting that members of the Legislative Council are also on the joint select committees.
To this, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab said Governor B S Koshyari should approve the list of 12 members to be nominated to the Legislative Council from the governor’s quota. Meanwhile, Sanjay Shirsat (Shiv Sena), Ashok Pawar (NCP), Sangram Thopte (Congress) and Kalidas Kolambkar (BJP) were appointed on the panel of presiding officers for the two-day session.
Earlier, as the House assembled for the day, Independent MLA Ravi Rana entered the House wearing a banner highlighting farmers’ issues. Speaker Patole took objection to the member’s conduct and directed the marshals not to allow members with such banners in the House.
Fadnavis appealed to the Speaker to take note of the issues raised by the member by wearing such a banner. Later, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray moved a condolence motion in the Assembly to pay homage to its former members and sitting MLA Bharat Bhalke who died recently.
The motion was supported by Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis. The Housepaid homage to Bhalke, former ministers Vishnu Savra, Javed Khan, Vinayakrao Patil, former MLAs Sardar Tara Singh, Anantrao Devsarkar, Narayan Patil, Narsingrao Gharpalkar, Kisanrao Khopde, Suresh Gore and Jagannath Dhone.
First Published: IST