Shiv Sena calls BJP ‘two-faced’ for planning protest during crisisUpdated: May 21, 2020 23:54 IST
Amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, politics in Maharashtra has heated up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chalking out an agitation against the state government led by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The state BJP’s `Maharashtra Bachao’ (Save Maharashtra) protest kick-started on Tuesday, with a party delegation meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to complain against the state’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and demanding an independent fiscal package from the government for Covid-19.
As a part of this agitation, the BJP has also planned a state-wide protest on Friday between 11am and 12pm, wherein party workers will unfurl black flags outside their homes and hold signs condemning the Maharashtra government. The party has asked workers across the state to shout slogans targeting Thackeray during the agitation and send footage of their protests to the media. The party has claimed lakhs of its workers will participate in this agitation.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “The Covid-19 situation in the state is dire and this is a reflection of the Thackeray government’s utter failure in handling this pandemic. For two months, we refrained from doing anything but now as an opposition party, we have to do our duty to unmask the situation and express the citizenry’s discontent and anger.”
Former chief minister and Leader of Opposition, Devendra Fadnavis said, “Maharashtra is the most affected state and it seems the situation in Mumbai has gone out of the hands of the government. The government made strategic errors since the beginning of the lockdown. The CM is new and has no administrative experience.”
These protest plans have irked the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi, with Shiv Sena slamming the BJP for being “two-faced” given that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his public addresses has been asking everyone to work together.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, Sena’s spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member, tweeted: “It is a shame @BJP4Maharashtra is ignoring PM Modiji’s advise and continuing their political agenda. Instead of helping the government and the state to fight Covid, they protest.”
The ruling parties are viewing the protest as part of a larger campaign to malign the government as it comes in the backdrop of a tweet by senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy earlier this week, in which he shared an article calling for President’s Rule in Maharashtra. Swamy had also tweeted that his opinion was that Thackeray must break the alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) again.
“This is a sustained effort by the BJP to malign the MVA government. Someone or the other has been recommending President’s Rule or calling for the Army in Maharashtra under the guise of so-called bad management,” said a senior Sena minister, on condition of anonymity.
NCP state chief and minister, Jayant Patil said, “Before imposing President’s Rule in Maharashtra, they must remove the governments in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat. This is not the time to indulge in politics, otherwise, we could ask several questions starting with how did the coronavirus spread in the country with their government in charge. What was Modiji doing until mid-March even when it was evident that the coronavirus was going to be a global pandemic?”
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant released an earlier video clip of Fadnavis speaking to the media during the Sangli floods last year, slamming the then Opposition for indulging in politics at the time of a disaster. Sawant tweeted: “Doctors, medical care workers, police, administration, and the government are battling with Covid-19. BJP leaders instead of joining this battle are fighting with the government. This is a tragedy.”