Maharastra: Koshyari’s remarks, Karnataka border row to rock winter session

Remarks by Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari on Shivaji Maharaj and the simmering border row with Karnataka are expected to dominate the winter session of state legislature beginning in Nagpur from Monday.

The opposition is also expected to target the Eknath Shinde-led government on shifting of mega projects like Foxconn to Gujarat, according to political observers.

Koshyari recently said that Shivaji Maharaj was a hero of the past, while BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi claimed the Maratha warrior king sought mercy from the Mughal empire. Their remarks caused state-wide protests. In a show of strength, the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) constituents Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray group), NCP, Congress, and other parties took out a massive Halla Bol morcha in Mumbai on Saturday against the Eknath Shinde-BJP alliance government demanding Koshyari’s removal.

The three-party coalition succeeded in putting up a united face during the march and sought to send out a message that it had regrouped to counter the ruling alliance. With the Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India, Peasants and Workers Party, Janata Dal and other smaller opposition parties actively participating in the march, the MVA is planning to put up a broad opposition coalition against the state government.

Leader of opposition in the state assembly, Ajit Pawar, has demanded that Karnataka and Maharashtra chief ministers’ recent talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the border dispute between the two states be made public.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that a proposal pertaining to the Karnataka-Maharashtra border row will be passed in the winter session. The state government is expected to table 11 bills during the session, expected to last till December 30.

Ajit Pawar said the state government should allocate sufficient time for discussion on these bills and not pass them in haste. The government will table the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti (third amendment) Bill 2022, which proposes to increase the number of members in the zilla parishads and panchayat samitis.

It will also table the Maharashtra State Agriculture Produce (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2022 to enable the farmers to contest the elections of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees. The government will introduce the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (second amendment) Bill 2022 to revise the capital value of the land and buildings. It will also move a bill proposing a temporary hike in the state contingency fund.

Around 7,000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure smooth passage of the winter session. Security at the Vidhan Bhavan, where the two Houses of the legislature meet, has been beefed up. Security at ‘Ramgiri’ and ‘Devgiri’, the official residences of the CM and the Deputy CM respectively, has also been tightened. Around 70 morchas are expected to be taken out by various political and social organisations during the session.

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