Opposition parties on Monday boycotted the customary tea meeting on the eve of monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislature convened by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde alleging that the government was formed illegitimately in violation of democratic norms and it was a dishonest government. The opposition also expressed displeasure over the inadequate financial assistance announced to flood-hit farmers, saying it was too inadequate. The decision was taken at the meeting convened by the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Ajit Pawar which was attended by the Congress, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, Peasants and Workers Party and other smaller parties.
Pawar also slammed the Shinde camp legislators for slapping the government employee and also issuing warnings of killing to the opposition. ‘’Did Shinde and Fadnavis approve such provocative language used by the Shinde camp legislators. Both CM and DCM should rap these legislators as they are resorting to such tactics to disturb law and order situation in the state,’’ he said, adding that the opposition will take on the government on this issue in both the houses of the state legislature during the six-day monsoon session starting from August 17.
Pawar was referring to a video in which Shinde camp legislator Santosh Bangar purportedly slapped the government employee while in another video another MLA Prakash Surve allegedly gave a call for tit for tat asking the supporters to teach a lesson by breaking the opposition camp’s hands and legs. ‘’Has the power gone into the heads of these legislators? Nobody is above the law,’’ he noted.
Thereafter, when Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was questioned about his camp legislators’ unruly behaviour and the provocative language used, he replied that the investigation will be conducted into these incidents. ‘’No one is above the law, including myself,’’ he said. However, he failed to declare what action will be taken against those legislators. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who holds the home department, also said that the inquiry should be completed.
However, Pawar demanded that the action should be taken against the legislators and it should be seen by the people.
On Pawar’s allegation that the government was dishonest and came to power violating the democratic norms, Shinde denied these charges saying that the Shiv Sena-BJP government, which should have come to power after the 2019 assembly elections, has now assumed power on Balasaheb Thackeray's thoughts and it was committed to work for the common people. Fadnavis claimed that the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed by betraying the mandate. He argued that BJP and Shiv Sena had fought the assembly elections together but Shiv Sena broke the ties and joined hands with NCP and Congress to form the government.