Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today said the Centre's decision to send back the state government's draft bill to control prices of pulses proved that the BJP government worked only for rich traders. Talking to reporters here, he also wondered whether the government was on the side of consumers or the traders over the sensitive issue. "Why did the Centre need to find loopholes in the draft legislation on such an important issue concerning the common man?" he asked. The Congress leader also said the state government was not serious about curtailing the rising prices of pulses. With the Centre sending back the legislation, people would have to cough up more during the festive season.
They will now teach the state government a lesson, he said. The BJP-led Maharashtra government cleared the draft bill in April this year but the Centre questioned the need for a separate law when the Essential Commodities Act with its stringent provisions to curb hoarding exists. Vikhe Patil said the state government was repeatedly failing to protect interests of the state in the courts and before the Centre on issues such as dance bar ban, Maratha reservation, NEET, malnutrition, farmers' package, etc. "Except corruption, BJP government is lagging behind on all fronts," he said. He also lambasted hike in the fares of state transport (MSRTC) buses ahead of Diwali. "Lakhs of people travel to villages for the festival and MSRTC has found a unique way to fill its coffers," he said.
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