PM Modi hails Maharashtra Covid-19 handling, says CMO
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over phone to take stock of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state and reportedly lauded Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government’s efforts in combating the second wave of the pandemic.
Maharashtra , which has recorded the most cases and deaths through the course of the pandemic, appears to have gotten the second wave under some control, especially in terms of medical care for those infected.
Eyebrows were raised in the political circles over Modi’s appreciation, given the frequent and open exchange of words between union and Maharashtra ministers.
According to the statement issued by chief minister’s office, Modi praised the Maharashtra government for its handling of the second wave. “He took information from the CM about the steps being taken by the state government for the management of Covid-19. The CM apprised prime minister about the measures planned by the state in anticipation of potential third wave of the pandemic,” the statement added.
Last week, in the course of a hearing in the Supreme Court, India’s Solicitor General spoke of the Maharashtra model of ensuring medical care and oxygen and suggested that regions such as Delhi needed to study it.
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Thackeray also requested PM for an additional allotment of oxygen. “Prime minister Modi and the Centre has been guiding Maharashtra in its fight against the virus since beginning and its has proven beneficial too. Expressing his gratitude for it, the CM also thanked Modi for accepting some of the recommendation Maharashtra government made,” the statement further stated.
Union ministers such as Harsh Vardhan and Prakash Javadekar and state ministers such as Rajesh Tope have clashed in recent weeks over supplies of vaccine and oxygen. In addition, the MVA run state government has been consistently targeted by former CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis for its handling of the pandemic.Thackeray, on two earlier occasions, actually complained to the PM about the state BJP leaders politicising the issue of pandemic.
According to a Congress leader, the PM’s appreciation comes as a surprise. “We have been very transparent in terms of cases and deaths unlike other states,” he said.
Political analyst Prakash Akolkar claimed that by praising the Maharashtra chief minister, Modi has indirectly criticised Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. “Delhi and Mumbai, the political and financial capitals of the country are always compared with each other. By praising Thackeray, Modi has taken a dig at Delhi CM Kejriwal.” He also pointed out that it is, in some way, a message to “Maharashtra BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis, Pravin Darekar who keep targeting Thackeray government on every Covid-19 related thing”, and added that it is known that Modi and Thackeray share a warm relationship going back years.
Meanwhile, CM Thackeray also wrote a letter to the PM Modi seeking permission to develop a separate application for the vaccination to avoid the malfunctioning of the CoWIN platform. He has said that otherwise the Centre should develop dedicated CoWIN applications for each of the states . The Maharashtra CM has also requested the PM to design a medical framework by ICMR under which the Food and Drugs Administration of the respective states can procure vaccine stock from other countries.