There has been more acrimony and mud-slinging than honest debate and discussion on issues of people’s welfare in the winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly currently underway in Nagpur. To top it, the leader of the Opposition, Jayant Patil of the Nationalist Congress Party, was suspended till the end of the session for his objectionable remark about Speaker Rahul Narvekar.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was firm that Mr Patil, his cabinet colleague till June this year, should face reprisal; Deputy CM DevendraFadnavis was only too happy to nod along.
Relations between the Shinde-Fadnavis Government and the Opposition alliance of Congress, NCP and Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena have been anything but cordial; the bad blood on the floor of the House follows the bad faith that marks the important relationship.
The Opposition is in no mood to give any quarter to the ShindeFadnavis Government, using every opportunity to embarrass it, and boycotting the session on Friday. To be sure, the job of the Opposition is to hold the Government of the day to account; in fact, doing so is its duty.
However, Maharashtra’s Opposition appears to be doing this not in the larger public interest but to settle old scores, except when it raises issues such as the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute and questions Mr Shinde’s silence at Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s meeting.
On its part, the Shinde-Fadnavis Government deserves criticism for its priorities – instead of focusing on issues of relevance, it wants to put the Opposition in its place.
Besides the LoP’s suspension, it has taken pains to announce a Special Investigating Team to probe the death of Disha Salian, manager to film star Sushant Singh Rajput who died by suicide in June 2020.
Ms Salian’s parents have said that they do not want further inquiries, yet the Government insists.This points to an attempt to “fix” the Thackerays given that the BJP has continuously attempted to link Aaditya Thackeray to Ms Salian’s death.
The Government has also reversed dozens of decisions taken by the Thackeray administration without explanation. The politicians may have scores to settle butthat should not affect governance.
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