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CM Uddhav To Convene Maharashtra ‘decision-makers’ Meet As Rahul Gandhi Washes Hands Off

 

Amid a double-headed political and Coronavirus crisis in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is set to meet his fellow ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders at the CM’s Varsha Bungalow on Wednesday, 11 AM.

The meeting will take place via video conferencing in view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in the state. This meeting comes just a day after MVA partner Congress confirmed the cracks within the alliance as former Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi said that his party is ‘only supporting, not ruling in Maharashtra’, seemingly throwing his allies under the bus for their handling of the crisis, before attempting a u-turn hours later. This did little to mitigate Rahul Gandhi reading out the list of states where it was the ‘decision maker’ to emphasise that Maharashtra wasn’t one of them.

As per sources the primary agenda of the meeting chaired by CM Uddhav is to discuss the lockdown and various relief measures that are required. Sources also said that different ministers will put forth their plan about re-opening of services with respect to the current situation of Covid in the state. Sources also said that the meeting is crucial amid demands of President’s rule by the BJP leaders. As per reports, there has been disagreement between NCP leaders and the Shiv Sena over easing of lockdown. While Sharad Pawar has demanded more relaxation, Sena wants a slow and gradual re-opening of lockdown, sources said.

Earlier, after meeting NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, CM Uddhav Thackeray had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resume the Mumbai local train services despite deteriorating Covid-19 situation, as per inputs.

Rift in MVA?

Even as Maharashtra is dealing with the worst Coronavirus crisis of any state with 54,758 confirmed cases, there have been multiple reports of strained relations between Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra. Moreover, the rushed midnight meetings between various leaders have only added to the talks about cracks within the MVA government. With the former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi sensationally distancing his party from the ongoing crisis on Tuesday, after saying that his party is only ‘supporting and not ruling’ the state, more questions are being raised on the fate of the 6-month old government. The NCP had hit out at Rahul Gandhi, with Majeed Memon objecting to some of his statements.

However, the BJP has claimed that its focus in the current time is to fight Covid-19 pandemic and not to form the government. Addressing the media on Tuesday evening, Fadnavis said that though the BJP is not trying to form the government in Maharashtra, he is sure that the MVA will fall due to its internal conflict.

Earlier on Tuesday, claiming ‘stability’ of the Uddhav government, Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut ruled out any rumours of ‘threats’ to the government and said that the CM has met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at Matoshri and discussed the current situation in the state. Meanwhile, NCP chief Pawar on Monday also met with Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari at Raj Bhavan. Senior NCP leader Praful Patel claimed that the meeting took place on the invitation of the Governor and no political issues came up for discussion.

Maharashtra’s Covid tally

Maharashtra reported 2091 new Coronavirus cases and 97 deaths on Tuesday. While there are 54,758 confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state, the number of active cases stand at 36,004. 1,168 patients were discharged in the day, taking the number of recovered to 16,954. There were 97 COVID-related deaths reported in the state today. Out of these, 39 deaths were recorded in Mumbai, 15 in Thane, 10 in Kalyan-Dombivali, 8 in Pune, 7 in Solapur, 5 in Aurangabad, 5 in Mira-Bhayandar, 3 in Malegaon, 3 in Ulhasnagar, 1 was recorded in Nagpur city and 1 in Ratnagiri.