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Maha budget session curtailed amid rising Indo-Pak tensions


Press Trust of India Mumbai
The budget session of Maharashtra Legislature was Thursday cut short by two days in the backdrop of high alert in Mumbai amid rising Indo-Pak tensions.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis informed the Assembly said the decision was taken to ease the pressure on the around 6,000 police personnel on session security duty.
The decision to curtail the session was not a panic reaction, Fadnavis said.
The next legislature session will be held in Mumbai on June 17.
"I would like to tell people of the state that 6,000 police personnel are on 'bandobast' (security) duty during the legislature session. There are many important installations in this area. These policemen need to be released for maintaining security and law and order in Mumbai and elsewhere," he said.
As per the feedback from police, they need more force to be vigilant as Mumbai is the country's financial capital, the chief minister said.
"The Indian Air Force (IAF) is capable of guarding our borders amid escalation of tensions after the Pulwama terror attack and air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan. Internal security is also important and we need to be vigilant," he said.
Fadnavis said senior police personnel, including state director general of police and Mumbai police commissioner, along with intelligence and other law and order officials discussed the need to be vigilant during a meeting with him here Wednesday.
"We also discussed the issue at an all-party meeting Thursday morning," he said.
Fadnavis said it was unanimously decided to curtail the session so that police force engaged in session duty was released for maintainingthe internal security.
"There is no need to panic and the police are taking appropriate steps," he said.
Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil supported the chief minister. In the next two days, the House was to debate the drought situation in the state, but national and internal security are more important, he said.
Members from the NCP, Shiv Sena and PWP also spoke in favour of the chief minister's statement.
Jayant Patil of NCP said the House should pass a resolution demandingimmediate release of IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, captured by Pakistan after an air combat on Wednesday.
"The IAF pilot should be treated with dignity and returned to India," he said.
Fadnavis moved a one-line motion demanding release of the IAF officer and that he be treated with dignity as per the UN convention.
The motion was passed by the members with thumping of desks.
State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday presented an interim budget for 2019-20 having an estimated revenue deficit of Rs 19,784 crore and provision of special fund for farm loan waiver.
The vote-on-account, which has budgetary provisions for four months of the next financial year (from April to July this year), was passed by the Assembly on Thursday without any debate.
In 1992, the winter session of the state legislature was curtailed when riots broke out in Mumbai following the Babri mosque demolition.
In 2008, the winter session scheduled to be held in Nagpur was postponed after the terror attacks in Mumbai in November that year.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 3:10 PM IST

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