The Opposition camp including Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress, and the NCP (Sharad Pawar group) on Sunday decided to boycott the tea party to be hosted by the Maharashtra government on the eve of the state legislature’s monsoon session, starting Monday.
A meeting was organised by the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Ambadas Danve, who belongs to Shiv Sena (UBT), which was attended by Congress legislative party leader Balasaheb Thorat and Nationalist Congress Party’s Jayant Patil.
Notably, the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly is lying vacant after incumbent Ajit Pawar of NCP resigned recently and joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government as Deputy Chief Minister. Eight other MLAs of Ajit Pawar’s camp were sworn in as ministers.
“We have decided to boycott the high tea invitation of the state government as it has failed to solve the woes of people on several fronts. This government’s validity on Constitutional norms is already in question,” Danve told reporters.
He alleged the government seems to have deployed a policy of “misusing” probe agencies to pressure the Opposition and force them to either join the government or face false charges and harassment.
“We are seeing a gory picture of democracy in Maharashtra as several Constitutional norms are disregarded. The chief minister of Maharashtra himself is facing disqualification,” Danve said.
He alleged the state is lagging in industrial growth as some projects that could have been set up only in Maharashtra have gone to other states.
“On the other hand, the refinery project in Ratnagiri district is being pushed without the consent of local people,” Danve alleged.
When asked if Congress would stake a claim to the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly in the wake of a split in the NCP, Balasaheb Thorat said, “Congress has 45 MLAs and we can stake a claim to the LoP post.
“However the nomination of the candidate for the post will be decided by senior leaders in Delhi,” he added.
As per norms, the post of LoP becomes official only after it is recognised by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)