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Parties step up efforts to help Maha govt fight coronavirus

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Press Trust of India Mumbai
Political parties in Maharashtra

have swung into action to assist the state government in its effort to control the spread of coronavirus.
The BJP, NCP and Shiv Sena have announced that one month's salary of their legislators and MPs will be donated to the relief fund to tackle coronavirus.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis has asked the state BJP unit leaders and workers to assist the poor and needy in their respective areas.
The former chief minister, who held discussions with Maharashtra BJP leaders through audio conference on Saturday, said the party will reach out to 10 lakh poor and needy persons and provide them food and medicines.
The Congress has said it will set uphelplines in every Assembly constituency of Maharashtra.
State Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat interacted with party MLAs, ministers, district unit presidents and other office-bearers through audio conference on Saturday and asked them to extend all help to those stranded,daily wagers and labourers during these difficult times.
He said 50 volunteers from the Seva Dal in each district are being trained to help the administration in an emergency situation.
The Youth Congress is organising blood donation camps with a target of collecting 10,000 bottles of blood.
"People are not being able to leave their homes due to the lockdown, so we should help them by delivering essential items like food and medicines at their doorsteps. All these works should be done keeping in mind the social distancing norms prescribed by the government and taking help of the local administration," Thorat told the Congress workers.
The party needs to reach out to people who have no food at their homes and are out of work, and ration or cooked food should be provided to them. Attempts should be made to ensure that not a single person goes hungry, he said.
State Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan, who attended the audio conference, said the situation is grave. "We have to plan in order to help maximum number of people and for this, the party workers should be in touch with the district collectors."

Social distancing should be compulsorily followed and construction site workers should be given cash by the welfare board set up for them, he said.
Former chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan, who also took part in the audio conference, said this is the biggest crisis of the century. Since January 1, more than 12 lakh people came to India from foreign visits till the time airports were closed, he said.
People who are asked to be in self-quarantine need to follow the rules. "We should ensure that migrant labourers stay where they are and all the basic necessities are provided to them," the Congress leader said.
State Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh said flu OPDs have been started in all government medical hospitals. The next eight days are very crucial and care must be taken that community transmission of the coronavirus does not take place, he said.
Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) MLA Hitendra Thakur in a statement on Saturday said all ration card holders in Vasai- Virar taluka of Palghar district will get daily essentials free of cost from rationing stores.
"This is a challenging time for all human beings. During such a time, not having food on their plates is the last thing people would want. Making these things available is an MLAs responsibility. We realise the cost would be too big, but it is secondary in comparison to peoples lives," BVA MLA Kshitij Thakur said.
The BVA is also thinking of delivering ration at every doorstep so that people need not step out of their homes.
The party, along with the help of the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation, has been involved in various steps to contain the spread of coronavirus, including fumigation of all public transport buses after each trip on a daily basis.
It has also teamed up with the railways to disinfect platforms on suburban stations.

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First Published: Mar 29 2020 | 9:52 AM IST

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