Patna, Feb. 17: The NDA government would flaunt the annual plan size of over Rs 34,000 core in the budget session of the state’s bicameral legislature commencing tomorrow but the “united” Opposition has some potent issues to put it on the mat.
Though numerically weak, the Opposition is said to be working on a strategy to launch a “united” offensive on the government in the over a month-long session. It would conclude on April 3.
The Congress legislature party leader, Sadanand Singh, said: “It will be a united voice of the Opposition this time. I had several rounds of talks with the Leader of the Opposition, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, to take all the opposition parties on board to raise the issues be-devilling the state and its people in an effective manner.”
Siddiqui concurred with Sadanand. “Whatever number we have, we will put up a united show against the government, which has let loose the corrupt elements at all levels of governance to plunder public money at will. We will not be cowed down by the ruling party’s brute majority this time around,” he said. The Opposition apparently is emboldened by the impressive gathering of people at Parivartan Yatra meetings of RJD boss Lalu Prasad.
The RJD, the LJP, the Congress and the Left appear to harbour the common feeling that resentment was growing against the Nitish rule and it was getting reflected in the crowd at Lalu’s meetings.
On the other hand, Nitish suspended his Adhikar Yatra meetings midway ahead of the November 4 Adhikar Rally in Patna in face of violent opposition at Khagaria, Darbhanga, Madhubani and Motihari. The ruling JD(U) has fixed March 17 as the date of its final Adhikar Rally in New Delhi, but Nitish has shown no signs of resuming his Adhikar Yatra meetings.
He also suspended his Seva Yatra in September. It is yet to resume.
The brief winter session provided little opportunity to the Opposition to take on the government. “It is the first full session providing us with the opportunity to question Nitish why he — once fond of going on yatras — was suddenly wary of moving out. He has lost confidence to go out because he failed to address the problems besetting people,” Siddiqui said.
Sadanand, a veteran Congress leader who had made debut in the Assembly in 1969, said: “I have never seen the quantum of corruption at all the levels of the governance in my entire legislative career as high as it is today.”
The Opposition members also said that they would first ask the treasury to explain why the government had failed to spend about 60 per cent of its 2012-13 budgetary allocation till now. “How will the government justify its plane size of Rs 34,000 crore (the highest in quantum ever) for the next fiscal when it has failed to use the funds allocated for 2012-13?” Sadanand asked.
“There are issues on which we will force adjournment this time. We will not allow the government to have a smooth sail as it had earlier,” the RJD chief whip, Samrat Choudhary, said. The other issues on which the Opposition is planning to grill the government include alleged deterioration in the law and order situation, no improvement in power scenario in the seven years of Nitish rule, poor upkeep of tubewells and other minor irrigation facilities and death of about 30 people in hooch tragedies. (See graphic)
The ruling alliance members, too, are preparing to counter the Opposition’s offensive by showcasing the Nalanda University heading towards its fruition, the state government’s success in getting two central universities for Bihar and legal action against corrupt officials, sources said.