Nagpur: Farmers Suicides, Ambedkar Memorial Set to Rock Maharashtra House

Nagpur, Dec 11 (IANS): Farmers' suicides, better remuneration for agricultural products and the much-delayed memorial for B.R. Ambedkar are some of the major issues the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party Democratic Front braces to face in the Maharashtra legislature's winter session starting Monday.

The opposition plans to raise the issue of law and order, inflation, the Lavasa hill-city imbroglio near Pune, the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Ratnagiri and the alarming power scenario, indicating stormy days ahead for the ruling coalition.

On the law and order front, issues like the June 11 killing of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, the brutal killing of two teenagers by eve-teasers, the August police firing on protesting farmers in Maval and instances of attacks on government servants will also be highlighted by the opposition.

For the last three months, the Prithviraj Chavan government has been grappling with massive farmers' agitations -- earlier by onion growers, followed by cotton farmers and later the sugarcane cultivators -- demanding better remuneration.

Chavan rushed to New Delhi last week and met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to initiate urgent measures on the farmers issues and clearance to the Indu Mills, Dadar, land allotment for constructing a memorial dedicated to Ambedkar.

On Dec 6, a group of Dalits from the Republican Sena barged into the mill land and 'occupied' it in a bid to pressurise the government.

With the civic elections in major municipalities, including Mumbai, scheduled early 2012, the opposition parties are expected to exploit the situation to the hilt and put the government on the mat for its various acts of commission and omission.

The aggressive mood of the opposition has been evident in the past few weeks with the Shiv Sena accusing Chavan of being the "most indecisive" chief minister of the state, sitting over 12,000 files.

Coupled with this is the anger among the journalist fraternity which has announced a boycott of the chief minister's customary session-eve tea party and a proposed morcha Dec 15.

The mediapersons have been demanding strengthening of laws to make attacks on the professionals as cognizable and non-bailable, but claim the government has done nothing in the matter.

The winter session is every year held in Nagpur, the second capital of Maharashtra. It normally lasts two weeks but there have been instances when it has been wound up after a week and even extended to three weeks.


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Title: Nagpur: Farmers Suicides, Ambedkar Memorial Set to Rock Maharashtra House

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