MUMBAI: Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on the short duration of the monsoon session of the state legislature, beginning Monday, saying the ruling dispensation doesn't want to face the opposition as allegations of "extortion" are surfaced against some ministers which forced it to go in the "defensive mode".
Addressing reporters, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly also accused the government of making a mockery of democracy by holding the session for just two days- July 5 and 6- "by giving the excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic".
Meanwhile, when asked about his announcement of quitting politics if he fails to restore the OBC quota within three months after coming to power again, Fadnavis said, "'I said so because the government is not taking necessary steps. There will be no need for me to take sanyas. I will be in politics for another 25 years".
He said allegations of extortion by ministers are surfacing due to which this government is avoiding facing the legislature.
"But we will expose the government's real face. If we are not allowed to raise issues on the floor of the House, we will raise them in the people's forum. We will be aggressive but at the same time restrained while ensuring that people's issues are highlighted," he said.
The former chief minister said the state government has so far held only 12 days of the legislature proceedings "by giving the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic" whereas Parliamentary proceedings were held for 70 days.
Referring to the two-day duration of the monsoon session, Fadnavis said the government wanted to stop the members from asking questions using legislative tools on the floor of the House.
"On the first day of the session (on Monday), supplementary demands will be tabled and condolence motion will be passed. There will be bills as well. On the second day, there will be a discussion on the supplementary demands. We are told that no other issues except what is budgeted in the supplementary demands can be raised. What if there is no provision regarding milk producers, paddy growers, crop insurance, Maratha and OBC quotas. Where should these issues be raised?'' he asked.
Fadnavis said the MVA government has gone into a "defensive mode" as two of its ministers had to resign on different issues.
He was apparently referring to resignations of Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod of Shiv Sena, who quit earlier this year after his name surfaced in connection with the alleged suicide of a young woman in Pune, and Anil Deshmukh of NCP who resigned after the high court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into allegations of corruption raised against him in April this year.
Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in March this year alleging that Deshmukh had asked some police officers, including (now dismissed) Sachin Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai per month.
Deshmukh had denied the allegations.
He is also facing the ED probe in connection with a money laundering case and his two aides were arrested.
Allegations of extortion were also leveled against Transport Minister Anil Parab of Shiv Sena.
He had also denied these allegations.