Uddhav Thackeray addresses media
File photo of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray | PTI
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Mumbai: Two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked people to come into their balconies and clap for the essential services battling Covid-19 on the frontlines, the BJP has called for a similar showcase of public sentiment in Maharashtra, although with a different objective.

Come 11.30 am Friday, the BJP, which is in opposition in the state, wants Maharashtra residents to dress in black, enter their balconies, and display placards with slogans against the ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government led by Uddhav Thackeray.

The idea is to protest against what the BJP describes as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s inability to handle the coronavirus crisis. As of Thursday, Maharashtra had recorded 41,642 coronavirus cases, the highest in the country. Of these, 11,726 patients have recovered while 1,454 have died. 

The campaign, named ‘Mera Angan, Mera Ranangan (my home, my battlefield) – Save Maharashtra’, is specifically aimed at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, a former ally of the BJP. 

Discussing the planned protest with the media Wednesday evening, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said “people should wear black clothes or masks or even dupattas”. 

“The placards should have slogans against the ‘Thackeray sarkar (Thackeray government)’. The situation is spiralling out of control and the government is not doing enough to contain the pandemic,” he added.

The BJP has asked all its workers to spread the word so the protest can be a success. “We want the people to maintain social distancing during this protest,” Patil said.

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Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande has criticised the planned protest. “There is a pandemic. The government is doing everything it can. The BJP wants people to wear black masks and dupattas and is asking them to stand on their balconies with placards. Is this a joke?” she said, addressing the media Thursday. 

Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat of the Congress lashed out at the BJP for attempting to whip up an anti-government sentiment at a time when the state is caught in an unprecedented crisis. “The BJP wants to destabilise the government. This has been long on their agenda,” Thorat told TV news channels. 


Also Read: Uddhav Thackeray has failed to handle Covid crisis. Bring in Army to save Mumbai


‘BJP doing it wrong’

The protest doesn’t seem to have enthused others in the opposition.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Sandeep Deshpande said public sentiment had turned against Thackeray government but the BJP’s way of highlighting it is wrong. 

The MNS is led by Raj Thackeray, who is Uddhav’s cousin, and the party has been inching close to the BJP of late. “I think there is a public sentiment against the Thackeray government. Initially, it was not so but now this sentiment is there. There is a failure on the part of the government machinery,” Deshpande said. “The way in which the BJP is doing it is wrong,” he added. 

Terming the BJP protest “outrageously hypocritical”, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kumar Ketkar said the party should also look at Gujarat, where it is in office. As of Thursday, Gujarat had the third highest total of Covid-19 cases recorded in India, with 12,537 cases, over 5,000 cured or discharged, and 749 deaths.

“Their own party cannot manage the situation in Gujarat. That state has half the population of Maharashtra and the management of the crisis is the worst,” Ketkar added. “Gujarat is the worst-attended state. All those who are protesting tomorrow should tell their government in Gujarat what to do before telling the Maharashtra government, which is doing a much better job than in BJP-ruled states.” 


Also Read: Uddhav Thackeray is winning over even his critics with calm demeanour and strong decisions


 

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18 Comments Share Your Views

18 COMMENTS

  1. This is no time for politics. Everyone must put their hands to tackle this pandemic. Even a small effort will be welcome.
    Mumbai, Pune maybe packed, but try to ensure as much social distancing as possible. Avoid opening of unnecessary office or shops.Avoid maximum people in public areas.
    Use mask, soap, sanitizer.
    Support hospitals with masks, ppe kits. Give moral support to health staff and all involved in fighting this VIRUS.

  2. Shameful that the BJP is engaging in political opportunism in the middle of a life-and-death crisis of gigantic proportions. They ought to support the Maharashtra Government, as Mumbai is the engine of India’s economy. Instead they are trying to score political points with an eye on the CM’s gaddi.

  3. The guidelines and status during lockdown 3 should be immediately implemented.The rising trend will further grim the situation in coming days. The frontline workers are coming under the grip, any short of relaxation like opening of govt offices with increased strength as compared to lockdown3 will pose serious issue without any benefit. Govt offices should be opened as per need basis and for essential services. Without public transport it will pose serious threat and open new dimension to problem.

  4. If USA cant handle the situation in NY, our state govt is far better in handling Maharashtra and specailly Mumbai.
    If Mumbai like city was in USA the death nos would hv crossed 15 lac till now.
    Its not only lock down which has minimized the deaths but also the efforts the State Govt has taken
    The frotntliners is the State Govt., Police , Doctors, Hospital Staff,BMC, BEST, Railways and the citizens themselves.

  5. Those who critisise Maharashtra govt are ignorant about COVID-19. Mah govt should be appreciated for reporting honestly. The disease trajectory depends on many factors including population density and screening efficiency. Also, what matters is if the health authorities are targetting right population for screening. US and Europe could show huge outbreak because not only the higher percentage of elderly population with comorbidities but also efficient screening. Ignorant politicians and their supporters won’t understand this.

  6. Is this the time for a blame game or work together leaving differences aside . Mumbai is the commercial capital and needs attention at all costs rather than play political games . I sincerely urge each and every Mumbai and residents of maharashtra don’t fall into this political , hypocritical crap .

  7. Most of the people who against Maharashtra Govt are ignorant about COVID-19. Maharashtra govt is honest enough to report actual cases and efficient in carrying out tests than other states. The disease trajectory is determined by many factors including population density and efficiency of surveillance. 60-80% cases are asymptomatic so the magnitude that seems high is due to screening efficiency.

  8. BJP is playing it’s dirty agenda again
    It’s Modi who has brought situation to this stage by his stupid decisions.
    Absolute mismanagement and nautanki by him.

    Now they are blaming Uddhav to divert attention .

    Mumbai is International Hub.
    Population density is peak.
    Migrants from all over the world are coming and going.
    Besides the lockdown decision was ill concieved.

    Modi played with Trump when he was supposed to be focussed on Covid 19.

  9. This is coming from BJP amid the crisis is a pity since it seems like a political move after having lost Maharashtra to the MVA. Secondly BJP us unable to bring in the cases in control in the state of Gujrat where the numbers are still on the rise. Thirdly the lockdown implemented was such a mess since the Government knew that lockdown will have to be implemented going ahead but so much lack of planning that it affected many poor people who had no source of income. This all shows that how BJP is now residing so cheap ways to tame other parties amid the reason where it currently stands.

  10. Not banning aeroplanes to arrive in India from January and declaring lockdown without giving suitable time to people had make chaos amongst Labourers wanted to return to their Homes in their States. Giving permission by Central Govt Police of Delhi to gathering of Tabligis at Delhi proved to be major cause of

  11. If the boot were on the other foot,I am trying hard how SSwould have reacted.Mr.Sanjay Raut would have been caustic and would have passed prickly comments.That corona had been mismanaged in Maharashtra is a widely accepted fact and comparing it will not take away that fact.

  12. Forget the politics and the blame game. It seems that currently, the state of Maharashtra is in a deep mess. The state’s population is 10% of that of India and yet it has a share of 35% in total (cumulative) infection numbers. The numbers get worsened if we consider the Active Cases. Maharashtra’s share in Active Cases is at whopping 42.6%. Mumbai city alone has around 20000 active cases, which form around 30% of India’s total. What do these numbers indicate? The state is is non-performer not only in controlling infections but also curing infected patients. Maharashtra’s Recovery Rate is now at 28% (improved from 24% a few days earlier), as against the national average of 41%. The politicians should stop the blame game and focus on the job on hand. If the situation worsens, Maharashtra could prove to be Achilles Heel for the country as well a whole.

  13. When Gujarat is in such terrible state how can BJP point fingers at Maharashtra ? This is dirty politics as usual by BJP who r frustrated completely at losing Maharashtra. I pity them. The central government should support it’s States, not humiliate them just because u r not in power there. Maharashtra is not Pakistan, u nincompoops !

  14. Uddhav Thakre is a poor administrator and has spoiled the situation . COVID is out of control and he is primarily responsible. He must go. This sarkar has no future because everyone is pulling in a different direction.

  15. Uddhaav has no brains and knows nothing about how to govern.He just wanted to be CM and Congress & NCP has hijacked him and he is so dumb that he does know that they are calling all the shots.With BJP Shiv Sena would have better chance and opportunity to guide.

  16. This is a frustration of losing power. And complete apathy of BJP towards Indian massesnp suffring from Corona. At this time wherein all parties are giving full support to BJP government, BJP is playing their political hunger for power in state and yes they know only thali bajana.
    Today India is more then 1 lac + corona postive, it is a failure of central BJP government, people walking on road barefoot without food and shelter, who is responsible? In BJP rule states i believe there is no corona?? Shame …Shame…Shame…

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