Amid reports of a rift within the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said his party was not a key decision-maker in the Maharashtra government when asked about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra.
Gandhi said there was a difference between running the government and supporting a government. “We are supporting Maharashtra government, but we are not in the key decision-making role in Maharashtra,” he said while addressing an online press conference.
Gandhi further said the Maharashtra government required full support of the Centre as the state is fighting a very difficult battle.
Speculations were rife after a meeting was held between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Monday evening. However, dismissing speculations about President’s rule in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the government was stable and “strong”.
Attacking the Narendra Modi government, Gandhi said India was the only country in the world that had relaxed lockdown norms at a time when Covid-19 cases were “exponentially rising”. Gandhi, who has vociferously attacked the Centre over the plight of migrants, also said the lockdown imposed as a measure to curb Covid-19 had “failed” and not given the results that Prime Minister Narendra Modi expected.
Addressing an online press conference, the Congress leader expressed concern that if the government functioned haphazardly during the non-lockdown period, the country would face a second wave of infections that will be “extremely devastating”.
He also urged the Centre to reveal its strategy for “opening up” the country. “We want to ask the government, what is their strategy as far as India’s opening up is concerned and what precautions they are going to take, how are they thinking and how they are going to support the migrants and our states?” Gandhi said
“I am no expert on safe mobility plan, there are experts who’ll tell you how India should open but what I do understand there are a few things that need to be done i.e. open up with inputs from state governments, experts and in a systematic way,” he said.
It’s pretty clear that aim & purpose of the lockdown has failed. What India is facing now is the result of a failed lockdown. What we want to understand is what is the Govt’s view going forward?: Shri @RahulGandhi#RahulGandhiVoiceOfIndia pic.twitter.com/4dxawi0SMN
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 26, 2020
Gandhi also reiterated that if money was not given in the hands of the poor and MSMEs, it could lead to “serious economic damage”. He also urged the centre to provide financial support to states, saying it would be difficult for them to function without aid as coffers were dry due to subdued economic activity.
Gandhi also asked the centre to be transparent about the events in Ladakh and Nepal.
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