Rahul Gandhi washes hands off Maharashtra Covid crisis: ‘Congress just supporting MVA government, not decision-maker’

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Published: May 26, 2020 3:10 PM

Maharashtra Corona Update: Rahul Gandhi said Congress is doing better in states where it is in power, but in Maharashtra the Congress is just supporting the MVA government and is not a decision-maker.

Maharashtra coronavirus cases, maharashtra coronavirus news, maha vikas aghadi newsRahul Gandhi distances Congress from Coronavirus crisis in Maharashtra. (File)

Maharashtra Coronavirus crisis: Amid allegations against the Uddhav Thackeray government of mishandling the coronavirus crisis in Maharashtra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday sought to distance his party from the prevailing situation in the state. Addressing the media, Rahul said that his party is only supporting the government and is not a decision maker, an apparent attempt by him to wash his hands off the COVID-19 crisis that has hit the western state hard.

The Congress party is a constituent of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra which is headed by Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray. The Congress has 12 ministers (10 Cabinet rank and two MoS rank) in the 43-minister Council of Ministers including the CM. They hold key portfolios like Revenue and PWD.

Rahul asserted that his party is doing better in states where it is in power, but in Maharashtra, he said, “Maharashtra is one of the most connected states in India. It is going to be one of the most aggressive places where corona is going to act. I would like to make a difference here. We (Congress) are just supporting the Maharashtra government but we are not the decision-maker here.”

“We are decision-makers in Punjab, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and in Puducherry. So, there is a difference between running the government and supporting it,” the former Congress president said.

Explaining why the state was facing such a large-scale crisis, he said, “Maharashtra is struggling because of the nature of its connectivity. Maharashtra is one of the most important assets that India has. It is the centre of business, so it requires full support of the government. I fully understand that Maharashtra is fighting a very difficult battle and I appreciate this.”

Rahul’s comments come in the midst of a massive political slugfest that has broken out between the Shiv Sena and the opposition BJP over the coronavirus situation in Maharashtra which has reported the highest cases and deaths in the country.

The BJP has demanded that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari impose President’s Rule in the state in view of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s failure in handling the crisis. However, the Shiv Sena has alleged that the BJP-ruled Gujarat was worse compared to Maharashtra, hence it deserves to be put under central rule first.

Maharashtra has reported 52,667 of the 1,45,380 registered cases in the country. Of the total 4,167 fatalities, Maharashtra tops the tally with 1,695 deaths.

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