‘We Are Not Key Decision-Makers in Maharashtra,’ Says Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi criticised the Modi government for lifting the lockdown after terming it a failure.

Published26 May 2020, 11:55 AM IST
India
2 min read

Amid allegations of mishandling the COVID crisis in Maharashtra by opposition leaders – who even demanded dismissal of the state government – Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that his party is not a key player in running the Maharashtra government.

Gandhi, whose Congress party is part of "Maha Vikas Aghadi" and holds key ministries in the Maharashtra government said, "We are only supporting the government and are not a 'key player' in the state".

Gandhi, however, defended the state government and said that Mumbai is a well-connected state, and that is the reason why COVID cases are rising there. He also asserted that the party is doing better where ever it is running its own government.

“I would like to make a differentiation here, we are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but we are not the key decision-makers in Maharashtra. We are the key decision-makers in Punjab, in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Pondicherry. So, there is a difference between running a government and supporting a government.”
Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP
Rahul Gandhi’s statement could be a setback for MVA government in Maharashtra where hectic politics has been the trend. NCP chief Sharad Pawar met the governor on Monday, though all speculations were rejected by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday.

Tongues started wagging as Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar went to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, in what was described by both sides as a "courtesy call".

Accompanied by NCP MP Praful Patel, this was Pawar's first-ever meeting with the Governor who was appointed in September 2019, crowning a series of recent political developments in the state.

Later on Monday afternoon, it was the turn of BJP leader and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane to meet the Governor. He reportedly demanded imposition of President's rule in the state.

Among various things, Rane has claimed the government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had failed to handle the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in the state.

Rane’s demand came days after Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis called on Koshyari and complained that the Thackeray government had bungled in handling the coronavirus situation.

The Governor followed it up by a review meeting of the crisis in which Thackeray excused himself but sent his close confidante Milind Narvekar.

A couple of days later, Koshyari raised strong objections to a letter written by Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant to the UGC recommending cancellation of final year university examinations, which the Governor pointed out was against the guidelines.

This was followed by Sena MP Sanjay Raut calling on the Governor, and a day later, Thackeray announced that the lockdown implemented suddenly was not proper, and lifting it abruptly would be detrimental to the people.

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