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Maharashtra Budget session begins tomorrow

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The Budget session of Maharashtra Legislature is beginning here tomorrow and the ruling BJP expects it to be a smooth-sailing affair after averting a face -off with sparring ally Shiv Sena over Mumbai Mayor’s post.

The BJP’s decision not to contest the elections for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), where it won just two seats less than the Sena in the just-concluded polls, is likely to ease strains in relations between the two saffron parties. The Sena had snapped ties with BJP at the civic level ahead of the February 21 polls and this had raised questions about its continuance in the Devendra Fadnavis-led Government. The Sena is part of the BJP-led Governments in Maharashtra and also at the Centre.

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With the BJP (82 seats) not fielding candidates in the March 8 polls, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party (84 seats) is set to bag the twin posts in the country’s richest civic body. The session will begin with Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses at 11 AM. The Budget for fiscal 2017-18 will be presented on March 18. This would be the BJP-led Government’s third budget presentation since it came to power in October 2014. The session will have 23 working days and conclude on April 7, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat said.

Discussion on the Governor’s address will take place on March 8 and 9, followed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ reply, he said. Supplementary demands will be taken up on March 15 and Vote on Account on March 22.

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Discussions on department-wise budgetary demands will begin from March 24. There will be a break for Gudi Padwa from March 26 to 28 and Ram Navmi from April 2 to 4. Among the items on agenda of the month-long session are two pending bills and six ordinances to be replaced by legislations.

On March 21, the legislature will discuss a motion to congratulate NCP President Sharad Pawar and PWP MLA Ganpatrao Deshmukh, who have completed 50 years in electoral politics.

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