Sharad Pawar comes to the rescue of the Maharashtra government

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on May 28, 2020

NCP President Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackceray and State Health Minister Rajesh Tope at a recent meeting in Mumbai

Even as the ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance and the BJP continue to lock horns over handling of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, NCP President Sharad Pawar has jumped into the action to counter the BJP’s plan to grill the government.

Pawar, who was not in the picture since the new government occupied the office in November last year, has become active amidst the Covid-19 crisis. In the last few days, Pawar has held series of meetings with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and, according to sources, held discussions with Congress leaders to salvage the situation after Rahul Gandhi’s statement.

Rahul, commenting about the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, had said: “We are supporting the Maharashtra government. but we are not a key decision-maker here. There is a difference between running a government and supporting a government...”.

His statement stirred the political circles in the State and the BJP leaders, talking of Presidential Rule, claimed that the Congress was unhappy with the Uddhav Thackeray’s performance.

Pawar spoke to alliance leaders and asked them to put up a united face against the attack by the BJP. After this, according to reports, Rahul spoke to Thackeray and assured full support to the government. As a result, three senior ministers — Balasaheb Thorat (Congress), Jayant Patil (NCP) and Anil Parab ( Shiv Sena) — launched a scathing attack on BJP leader and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday. Pawar has asked ministers to avoid making contradictory statements.

The Maratha strongman also visited the new Covid treatment centres set up by the State government in Mumbai and also gave instructions to the officials. Maharashtra‘s cumulative Covid-19 case tally breached the 50,000-mark on Sunday and the number of cases is multiplying. The State BJP leaders, under the leadership of Fadnavis, have claimed that the government has completely failed to handle the situation while the ruling alliance has claimed that the State machinery, especially in Mumbai, has done excellent work to contain the spread of the virus.

Published on May 28, 2020

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