Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has stirred a fresh controversy in Maharashtra’s political circles, after conceding during a video conference with journalists on Tuesday that Congress wasn’t a key decision-maker in the western state, which has been severely struggling to cope with the rising number of coronavirus cases.
“We are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but we are not the key decision maker in Maharashtra. We are decision-makers in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Puducherry,” said Rahul Gandhi, in response to a question on the situation in Maharashtra from a news channel during the press conference.
The Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad was quick to add that the worsening coronavirus curve in the western state was due to the fact that it was one of the country’s most “well-connected” states. “Mumbai and Pune, like Delhi, are well-connected. One must take that into account,” said the Congress leader.
Maharashtra has accounted for almost a third of the overall coronavirus infections in the country, with country’s financial capital Mumbai witnessing almost half of the total cases from Maharashtra.
The remarks by Rahul come at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been clamouring for the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, with former Chief Minister Narayan Rane calling upon the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday to press him to accept the demand.
At Centre, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal hit out at Thackeray for his alleged mishandling of the migrant worker crisis. During an interview with India TV on Monday, Goyal blamed the Maharashtra government for not providing complete data about the migrants stranded in the state, which delayed their evacuation through Shramik Special trains.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is a coalition comprising Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress. The NCP has 12 cabinet ministers and four MoS, Shiv Sena 10 cabinet ministers and four MoS and Congress 10 cabinet berths and two MoS in the state government.