The winter session of the state legislature, which is set to start in Mumbai on November 19, will go on for two weeks, it was announced on Thursday. The opposition slammed the government for its “short” duration.
The two-week winter session will be unique as it will be held in Mumbai instead of Nagpur after 57 years.
The Congress and the NCP demanded at the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of both houses that the session be extended by a week. The government rejected the demand, a legislature officer said. Conventionally, the winter session is two week long.
As announced at the end of the monsoon session, the winter session will start on November 19. It will go on till November 30, the official said. The number of working days will be eight as two public holidays—Eid and Gurunanak Jayanti—fall in this period.
Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, leader of the opposition in the assembly, said by refusing to extend the session, the BJP-led government was running away from debate on important issues. The drought situation in the state is alarming and the government is not ready with a contingency plan to deal with it, he said. “We sought one more week’s time to discuss pressing issues like agrarian crisis, drought management, delaying tactics of the government on reservation demand of Marathas, Dhangars and Muslims, the Mumbai development plan and other important urban issues,” he said. “But the government rejected the demand.”
Dhananjay Munde, NCP leader and leader of opposition in the legislative council, too, said that the opposition wants the session extended by a week. State NCP president Jayant Patil, who is the group leader of his party in the assembly, alleged that the government wanted to avoid discussion on important issues.
Generally, monsoon and budget sessions of the state legislature are held in Mumbai, while the winter session is held in Nagpur.
For the first time since 1961, the winter session will be held in Mumbai this year. The monsoon session was held in Nagpur this time after 47 years.
As per the Nagpur Pact of 1953, which eventually led to the creation of the state of Maharashtra, Nagpur was accorded the status of second capital. It was decided that one of the sessions of the legislature will be held in Nagpur. However, the pact did not lay it down which session would be held in Nagpur. It was decided later that it would host the winter session, said the legislature official.