A day after BJP leader Devendra
Fadnavis demanded the Maharashtra government declare a financial package like the Centre did, state minister Jayant Patil on Wednesday took a dig at him, saying he expressed lack of confidence in the Modi regimes Rs 20 lakh crore COVID-19 economic stimulus.
Patil also criticised Fadnavis for targeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar for writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Centres Rs 20 lakh crore special package.
The Water Resources Minister said the advice of Fadnavis, on whom Pawar should write a letter to, is not required and asked the BJP leader to not play politics when the fight against COVID-19 is on.
With Fadnavis meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari time and again, Patil said the BJP leader should instead see Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and collectively fight the battle against COVID-19.
Patil hailed the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for their efforts in containing the spread of the disease.
Our friends (Fadnavis) demanded a package by the state government like the one Centre announced. This demand, in a way, is expressing distrust in the Centres package, Patil told reporters during a press conference online.
The Modi governments package is of Rs 20 lakh crore. There should be no problem in taking for granted that that package will give relief to all the people, he added.
The senior NCP minister, whose party is a key constituent in the Sena-led government, asked the Centre to share with the state around Rs 11,000 crore of pending dues.
We are trying to resume economic activities, but we should also get our dues from the Centre, he added.
Patil further said Pawar speaks with the chief minister on the phone or meets the latter in person to discuss the COVID-19 crisis.
Since, the prime minister is away (in Delhi), Pawar writes letters to him, Patil added.
Letters are written to those who are away. Hence, our friends (Fadnavis) should not advise us what Pawar Saheb should do and what he should not, Patil quipped.
Stating that Fadnavis in the past met Koshyari for political reasons, Patil said it is not the time to play politics, but to fight the disease collectively.
Patil said Fadnavis, a former chief minister, should make suggestions to the state government on tackling the COVID-19 crisis instead of pestering the Governor.
It is not right in the given circumstances to pester the Governor time and again and demoralise the state machinery.
"I am sure, Devendra Fadnavis will meet the chief minister or the deputy chief minister instead of the Governor, Patil added.
To a question about BJP leader Subramanian Swamy reportedly asking Thackeray to snap ties with the Congress and NCP or else the two parties will destroy the Sena president in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Patil said, Confusion is being created, the state government is being defamed and politics is being played."
"Swamys tweet shows what is the plan from gully to Delhi," Patil quipped without elaborating.
He said the Maharashtra government has handled the coronavirus situation properly.
Patil said the state government and the BMC have helped migrant workers, are making available beds for COVID-19 patients on a big scale and provided 330 ambulances to ferry patients to hospitals in Mumbai.
The minister said, 4.26 lakh migrant workers have returned to their respective native states by 320 trains. As many as 187 trains have departed to UP, 44 to Bihar, 30 to Madhya Pradesh, 15 to Jharkhand and 13 to Rajasthan. From Mumbai alone, 150 trains departed."
Patil said a sum of Rs 75 crore has been spent from the Chief Ministers Relief Fund on tickets and for arranging trains to other states to transport migrant workers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)