INDIA. Mumbai: The Budget Session of the Maharashtra State Legislature begins on Monday in Mumbai with expected friction between Shiv Sena (Shinde) and Shiv Sena (UBT) over the question of whether the whip of the ruling Shinde – BJP coalition applies to the MLAs of the Shiv Sena (UBT).
On the first day, February 27, the newly recognised state song “Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha” will be played. There will be a joint address to both houses of the legislature by Governor Ramesh Bais. The session will go on until March 25, and the fiscal 2023-24 budget will be presented by Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Devendra Fadnavis on March 9.
Thirteen bills will be tabled during the budget session, including five cleared by the State Cabinet and eight more yet to be cleared. In both houses, a special discussion will be held on March 9, International Women’s Day.
This will be the first budget of the government led by Eknath Shinde, who broke away from the Shiv Sena last June and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Election Commission of India recently recognised the Shinde faction as a real Shiv Sena, although the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. The hearing is scheduled to resume on February 28.
However, the dispute is whether the whip to be issued by the Shinde faction will be applicable to the 15 Shiv Sena MLAs of Uddhav Thackeray. After taking over as rulers of Maharashtra, the Shinde faction issued disqualification notices to 14 MLAs (except Aditya Thackeray).
According to Anant Kalse, former Secretary of the Maharashtra State Legislature, Thackeray faction MLAs can form their own group and cannot be forced to accept the whip of the Shinde faction.
In the meantime, the opposition led by Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) boycotted a customary tea party hosted on the eve of the budget session on Sunday evening. The leader of the opposition, Ajit Pawar, said that it is better to stay away from those who betrayed Maharashtra by toppling the MVA government.
In response, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde stated that the former MVA Government had provided financial assistance to Hasina Parkar, the sister of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. MVA’s two ministers went to jail. But no action was taken against them. “This is nothing but treason. In comparison, he broke away to protect Shiv Sena patriarch late Balasaheb Thackeray’s ideology,” he maintained.
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