Maharashtra opposition uses nursery rhymes against government

Mumbai : A belligerent opposition targeted ministers facing allegations of wrong doing by shouting slogans and singing nursery rhymes on the opening day of the monsoon session of the Maharashtra legislature here on Monday.

Led by Leader of Opposition in the assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Dhananjay Munde in the council, legislators cornered Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chanting slogans when he arrived at the entrance of the legislature complex in the afternoon.

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They raised the issue of farmers’ suicides and waved banners proclaiming: “How many more suicides of farmers do you want?”

The opposition followed this up by chanting nursery rhymes to target Education Minister Vinod Tawde over his alleged fake degree, Woman and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde for alleged irregularities in e-tendering processes of Rs.206 crore, and Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar for allegedly concealing information pertaining to having two wives.

They sang: “Johny Johny, Yes Papa; Pankaja Pankaja, Yes Papa; Eating chikki, Yes Papa”, “Vinod Vinod, Yes Papa; Bogus Degree, Yes Papa;” and “Lonikar Lonikar, Yes Papa; Two wives, Ha ha ha” to attack the ministers of the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine.

Adopting an aggressive stance, Nationalist Congress Party state president Sunil Tatkare said the opposition will not allow the proceedings to continue from Tuesday until the government declares a complete waiver of farmers’ loans, a demand already rejected by Fadnavis.

Fadnavis on Sunday said such loan waiver brought about in 2008 did not benefit the farmers but only the banks headed by Congres-NCP leaders.

This led to further criticism by Vikhe-Patil who said banks have not benefited since the farmers have not paid interest nor was there any restructuring of existing loans since the past three years, and the government needs Rs.13,000 crore to write off all loans.