To ensure tight security in the city and adequate police deployment across the city in wake of the current tension on the India-Pakistan border, the Budget session of the Maharashtra legislature was curtailed on Thursday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the Assembly that at least 6,000 police personnel are deployed in the Vidhan Sabha presmises during the session. “There is tension at the border and at this time it is important to maintain internal security. Mumbai being the financial capital of the country, the vigil needs to be tighter. There is no need to panic, but we must take extra precaution,” said Mr. Fadnavis. He informed the Assembly, that in a meeting [all party? or CM only?] held with security establishments [when?], it was observed that police required extra force to ensure adequate deployment. “This was conveyed to leaders of all political parties and it was unanimously decided to curtail the session. This decision has been taken to ensure the release of extra police force and make them available to provide security cover at other areas,” he said, reiterating that there is no need to panic. Mumbai police intelligence sources had told The Hindu on Wednesday that the city was put on high alert since the air strikes. Vote on accountThe Assembly approved the vote-on-account which has budgetary provisions for four months of the next financial year (April to July this year), without any debate.Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil said they were tabling their respective speeches on the interim budgetary provisions on the floor of the House. The appropriation Bill and vote-on-account were subsequently passed by a voice vote. The House was then adjourned for an hour and a meeting of the State cabinet was also held.Earlier, at the start of the day, NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad urged Mr. Fadnavis to move a motion that the State along with rest of the country stood firmly behind the armed forces and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan after an air combat on Wednesday. Accordingly, a one-line resolution was unanimously passed with the Assembly expressing solidarity with armed forces and demanding release of Wg. Cdr. Varthaman.
Mahela Jayawardene held the key for Sri Lanka after quick wickets pushed them on the backfoot as the visitors looked to put a good challenge before the hosts playing in the ICC World Cup finals at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.Mahela’s 103 not out (88 balls) gave the Sri Lankan middle order some stability which helped the team reach a decent total of 274 at the loss of 6 wickets in 50 overs.Batting at number four, Mahela stayed put holding the crease at one end even as other batsmen kept coming and returning to the pavilion. With his silken stroke play and calm presence at the crease, he scored all around the wicket hitting pacers and spinners with ease.Mahela and skipper K. Sangakkara were scoring freely until Yuvraj took the latter’s wicket in the 28th over as Lanka lost their third wicket at 122 runs. The visitors were in trouble when wickets fell in quick succession in the 39th (Samaraweera) and 40th overs (Kapugedera). After 40 overs, Sri Lanka were struggling at 183/5.