Maharashtra budget session from March 15
The Maharashtra legislature's annual budget session will begin
here from March 15 and the budget will be presented March 26, it
was announced Tuesday.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshavardhan Patil said that
Governor K. Sankaranarayanan
Mumbai: Spurred by
its win in the recent civic elections, an aggressive opposition
plans to take on the ruling Democratic Front (DF) on a wide range
of issues in the crucial budget session of the Maharashtra
legislature that begins here Thursday.
This time, the political weather is expected to be all the more
stormy for Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's Congress-National
Congress Party (NCP) government with the biennial elections for
six seats to the Rajya Sabha also scheduled to be held March 30,
when the session will be on.
Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar will table
the state budget for 2012-13 here March 26. He will need all his
balancing and financial skills in view of the whopping Rs.207,000
crore debts confronting the state.
This would entail scouting for new avenues to generate and
mobilise scarce resources, along with providing employment
opportunities, especially for youth, to reduce the gap and make
the state economy healthier.
For the past few years, the DF government has held out the promise
of making the state free from power cuts by 2012 to boost
agricultural and industrial production.
However, while some neighbouring states claim to have achieved
this feat, Maharashtra's status is expected to be known now, as
Ajit Pawar also holds the key energy portfolio.
Besides grappling with these issues, the government will have to
face a belligerent opposition.
The saffron triumvirate of Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata
Party-Republican Party of India (SS-BJP-RPI) is fresh from its win
in the Mumbai and Thane civic elections, the Samajwadi Party (SP)
has been energised with the win in Uttar Pradesh and Raj
Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is raring to go... the
going will be difficult for the suave and seasoned Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Patil.
Among the prickly issues is the delay in initiating action against
senior Congress leader and former city party chief Kripashankar
"Kripashankar Singh and his family are allegedly embroiled in
multi-crore rupee corruption charges and the authorities swung
into action only after a sharp rap from the Bombay High Court,"
said BJP Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawade.
Another senior Congress leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani was nabbed by
the Central Bureau of Investigation for alleged corrupt activities
with intentions to influence the controversial Adarsh Society
Though Gidwani was suspended by the party, the matter is
considered sensitive as the names of three former chief ministers
- Ashok Chavan (in wilderness now), Vilasrao Deshmukh and
Sushilkumar Shinde (both central ministers now) - have been linked
to the scam, and the opposition has been questioning the delay in
probing the matter by a two-member commission appointed by the
However, the government is hoping to shield itself from the
attacks somewhat with the session-eve arrest of senior Shiv Sena
leader and ex-minister Suresh Jain in a huge housing scam in
Crying foul over the government move and terming it as "a
political stunt," the two main opposition parties - SS and BJP -
are also quarrelling and hurling allegations at each other over
Another major issue is the resumption of protests by the Shiv Sena
and other groups opposed to the proposed 9,900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear
Power Project coming up in the coastal district of Ratnagiri.
In view of the protests in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, the next
strategy of the government remains to be seen though both Chavan
and Pawar have made it clear that the project is on.
Plus there are the usual issues such as corruption, runaway
inflation and law and order, which will of course dominate the
proceedings and the shadow of the union budget and railway budget
will also fall on the state budget on March 26.