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Centre asking Maharashtra to impose festival curbs while encouraging political rallies: Ajit Pawar

Ajit Pawar said while the Union government has rightly directed Maharashtra to issue curbs for the upcoming festivals, it has directed four of its ministers to go around the state and conduct rallies.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: August 30, 2021 8:25:52 am
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. (File)

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday criticised the BJP-led Union government for “double speak” over Covid-19, saying that while the Centre was asking the state government to impose curbs during the upcoming festivals, it was asking its newly sworn-in ministers to conduct public rallies as part of “Jan Ashirwad Yatra” across the state.

Following a meeting with elected representatives from across the district in which their suggestions on the draft development plan of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) were sought, Pawar told reporters: “We have seen what happened in Kerala after restrictions were eased during a major festival…We have seen during the first wave and the second wave of Covid-19 that the infection spreads fast if crowds are allowed to gather to celebrate festivals. Hence, it is important that upcoming festivals, including Ganesh Chaturthi and Dahi Handi, are celebrated in a toned-down manner without causing any crowding.”

Pawar said while the Union government has rightly directed Maharashtra to issue curbs for the upcoming festivals, it has directed four of its ministers to go around the state and conduct rallies.

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“The crowding that inevitably happens at political rallies will lead to fast spread of the infection. I am sure that in the days to come, we will see that the places where these rallies are taking place will see a spike in Covid-19. Although, I hope the infection doesn’t go up anywhere in the state,” said Pawar.

Pawar also criticised the stance taken by some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs from Mumbai insisting celebration of Dahi Handi with usual aplomb. “This is another example of hypocrisy. Politics should be done on issues that are fit for it but on issues of public health, one should keep aside the thoughts of political benefit and take a rational stance. This is the tradition of the state,” said Pawar.

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