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Explained: Maharashtra's political crisis while tackling coronavirus

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday has said that the Congress does not have a key role to play in the Maharashtra government

Topics
Maharashtra government | Rahul Gandhi | Lockdown

Sukanya Roy  |  New Delhi 

The political scene in Maharashtra heated up after a BJP delegation led by former CM met governor B S Koshyari and complained to him about the "failure" of the government in tackling the Covid-19 crisis.

Maharashtra is the most affected state in the country and has added 2,190 cases to take its tally to 56,948. The state has added more than 2,000 cases on each of the past 11 days. About 46 per cent of all its patients have come in these 11 days alone.

State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, who also heads the revenue department, said on Tuesday that "BJP leaders in the state are greedy for power. They cannot think of helping the government in the current situation. They are trying to destabilise the government."

Thorat said there is no reason to worry about the survival of the government, and asserted that the ruling dispensation is stable and functioning properly.

The Congress is one of the constituents in the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. The other partner is the Sharad Pawar-led (NCP).

When asked why no Congress leader is seen around chief minister or NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Thorat said, "We are in touch with each other over phone. Nothing should be read into such appearances or disappearances".

Interestingly, Congress leader on Tuesday has said that the Congress does not have a key role to play in the

He appears to be distancing his party from the ruling alliance that is being criticised for its handling of the pandemic in the state.

Despite the fact that the Congress is part of "Maha Vikas Aghadi" and holds key ministries, said, "We are only supporting the government but are not in the key decision-making role in Maharashtra."

Rahul Gandhi's statement could be a setback for the MVA government in Maharashtra, where hectic politicking is going on.

Gandhi, however, defended the state government and said that Mumbai is a well-connected city and that is the reason why Covid cases are rising there. He added that Maharashtra requires the full support of the Central government as the state is fighting a very difficult battle.

The (NCP), the third member of the alliance, could be the reason for the decline of the government.

President went to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, in what was described by both sides as a "courtesy call".

This was Pawar's first-ever meeting with the Governor who was appointed in September 2019, crowning a series of recent political developments in the state.

Praful Patel also defended Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal from attacks by and Congress leaders, who have been scathing about the lack of help from the railways in helping move migrants to their home states.

While the Shiv Sena, without specifying any party or leader, has said that the opposition's efforts to destabilise the state government could boomerang, the NCP has accused the BJP of spreading rumours that President's rule will be imposed.

Well, the demand for imposition of the President's Rule in the state was indeed made on Monday afternoon by BJP leader and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane after meeting the governor.

Among various things, Rane has claimed the government headed by Chief Minister had failed to handle the Covid-19 pandemic crisis in the state.

New political alignments, possibly even central rule, could be on the cards in Maharashtra... only time will tell.

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First Published: Thu, May 28 2020. 15:55 IST
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