Ahead of the budget session of State legislature beginning May 25, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday chaired a meeting of PDP-BJP legislators here to chalk out strategy for the session, which is expected to be stormy. The opposition is gearing up to corner the Government on several issues including establishment of Sainik and Pandit colonies, new industrial policy and "failure" on governance front.
Sources said Mehbooba directed for constitution of Groups of senior Ministers, in both State Assembly and Council, to lead the charge on behalf of the Government on issues expected to be raised by the opposition.
"Our (PDP and BJP) legislators should stay united," Mehbooba told the coalition MLAs. "The opposition will raise issues on which we have already made our policy clear and we must ensure to put forward Government's view point in an effective manner."
The sources said during the meeting, which lasted for 10 minutes, Mehbooba said the Government has put new industrial policy, which allows non-state subjects to set up units outside industrial estates on State and proprietary land, "on hold".
She also told the meeting that the Government has made it clear that there was no land available for establishment of Sainik Colonies.
The meeting assumes significance as the opposition led by National Conference has been targeting the PDP-led Government for acting as "mute spectator to assault on State's special position".
Various proposals like establishment of Sainik and Pandit colonies in the Valley and shelters for the homeless non-state subjects in J&K under a centrally sponsored scheme are being seen as "planned attack" on States special status, by the opposition.
The killing of five civilians in firing by army and police in Kupwara and Handwara last month following alleged molestation of a school girl by an army man was likely to dominate the proceeding in both the Houses of the state legislature, with opposition accusing the Government of failing to prosecute the guilty.
This will be the first budget session of the Mehbooba-led coalition Government that assumed office on April 4 this year following the demise of former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on January 7.
"Many important issues relating to the Budget session, its smooth conduct and how to counter opposition were discussed during the meeting," said a senior Minister.