Maharashtra opposition demands Deshmukh’s resignation (Roundup)

July 16th, 2008 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Mumbai, July 16 (IANS) The Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposition alliance in Maharashtra Wednesday demanded Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s resignation for what it termed as “inept handling” of the drought-like situation confronting the state. The entire opposition also demanded a detailed discussion on the prevalent scarcity situation in many parts of the state, forcing four adjournments, three in the assembly, which is the lower house, and one in the council, the upper house.

Leading the onslaught, Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam of Shiv Sena said Deshmukh “has no right to occupy the CM’s chair if he is not going to take care of the farmers.”

Kadam said though a drought is “imminent”, the state government has no clue about how to combat it. Even if it rained now, there are no plans in place to provide fertilizers for the rest of the sowing season, he pointed out.

Discussions in both houses continued with all opposition members criticising the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine for what they felt was poor handling of the crisis.

Either Deshmukh or Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat is likely to make a statement on the contentious issue in the house Thursday.

To make a point, two legislators of the BJP bicycled their way to the Vidhan Bhavan in the morning for the opening day of the state assembly’s monsoon session to highlight the plight of farmers in “drought-hit” regions.

Dilip M. Yelgaonkar from Khatav and Suresh D. Khade from Jath constituencies sought to highlight the plight of farmers in the scarcity-hit regions of the state and demanded that Maharashtra be declared “drought-hit”.

The legislators carried placards on the bicycles and empty bags and bundles of straw - symbolizing the dry times as the state has been experiencing along lull in the monsoon after an encouraging start early June.

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