Sena, NCP, Cong. slam BJP

Launching an attack on the BJP, ruling at the Centre, for not providing financial aid to Maharashtra hit by coronavirus crisis, and debunking speculations of political instability in the State, all three parties of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Wednesday displayed camaraderie by holding the first joint press conference since the pandemic made its entry in the State.

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Maharashtra Congress president and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Shiv Sena leader and Transport Minister Anil Parab and State president of the Nationalist Congress Party and Irrigation Minister Jayant Patil held a joint press conference demanding Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis to justify his claims that the Centre till now provided aid of ₹28,104 crore and the Union government’s corona package would give ₹78,500 crore to Maharashtra.

The joint press conference comes a day after rumours of the State government being unstable and the possibility of invoking President’s Rule were discussed.

GST dues

In a point-by-point rebuttal to the claims of the BJP leader, Mr. Parab said, “The Centre is yet to clear the State’s GST dues of over ₹18,000 crore from 2019-20. We have not received anything new. Whatever the Centre has given is through ongoing schemes. Maharashtra has not received anything special. Where is the money that Mr. Fadnavis is talking about?”

Asked about the dead bodies being kept in hospital corridor, Mr. Parab said he had gone into the details of such photos. “As per the prescribed procedure, a process involving police and hospital authorities has to be completed after any death related to corona takes place in a hospital. It takes around 45 to 50 minutes to be over. During the period, photos of bodies which are kept in a corridor are taken. We are working on to reduce the time period and the results will be seen soon,” he said.

Also read: MVA government showed political intransigence: Devendra Fadnavis

‘No concrete suggestions’

Mr. Patil said Mr. Fadnavis’s statements raised doubts over whether he was a friend or a foe of Maharashtra. Providing the data on actual material aid received from the Centre, Mr. Patil said the Modi government had not given a single PPE kit or ventilator to Maharashtra despite demands. “The State has done survey of almost 6% of the State’s population. We have brought down the patient doubling rate and the death rate. We expected Mr. Fadnavis to give us concrete suggestions. But he is busy vilifying the State government,” he said.

Mr. Thorat clarified that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s statement was not only twisted but also his actual statement congratulating the Maharashtra government in its performance to tackle corona was neglected. “This government is like a fist. The opposition is creating unrest. They may try and do so but we are together,” he said.

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