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Published On: Tue, May 26th, 2020

Rahul Washes Hands Off Maha Covid Crisis; Says ‘Cong Supporting, Not Ruling’

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pawar-meets-governor-koshyari-MUMBAI NEW DELHI : Rahul Gandhi’s comment today served to further complicate matters as his allies in Maharashtra’s ruling coalition rubbished talk of a rift spurred by a series of meetings.

The Congress is only playing a supporting role in Maharashtra, he said, appearing to distance himself from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his decision-making in the state worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Congress later said their leader’s comments had been twisted out of context, but the clarification did little to tamp down coalition crisis rumours that the Chief Minister’s Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had forcefully denied just hours ago.
“I would like to make a differentiation here. 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.RahulGandhiCong-1
There is a difference between running the government and supporting it,” Mr Gandhi said in response to questions on Maharashtra’s coronavirus crisis and possible disagreements within the ruling alliance on tackling it.
“I said very categorically that Maharashtra is an important state, Mumbai is the financial capital and there is a lot of attention, they have a difficult situation and lots of attention needs to be given to the state by the centre,” said the Congress MP.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday met with Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari at Raj Bhavan. The NCP claimed that the meeting took place on the invitation of the governor and no political issues came up for discussion.

Speaking to reporters after leaving Raj Bhavan, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said “It was a routine meeting between them. It was not about any particular political issue or topic”.
However, the timing of the meeting is significant as it took place against the backdrop of allegedly strained relations between the Shiv Sena, which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of which the NCP is one of the key constituents, and the Raj Bhavan.

Claiming ‘stability’ of the (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra, Sanjay Raut earlier in the day said that the CM has met NCP chief  Sharad Pawar at Matoshri and discussed the current situation in the state.
Mocking the BJP, he claimed that ‘those spreading news about the instability’ of MVA government should know that there is nothing to worry about. Earlier, BJP leader and former CM Narayan Rane demanded President’s rule in the state after meeting Governor Koshiyari on Monday.
The Uddhav government is facing heat as the Coronavirus crisis in the state is worsening. The latest meeting comes about a week after Pawar had held a discussion with CM Uddhav to discuss the challenges triggered by Coronavirus crisis, after which he urged the Centre to resume Mumbai Local train services.
“I’ve heard what Rahul Gandhi said. He’s absolutely right. It’s a coalition. Everyone takes a decision together. Uddhav Thackeray takes everyone into confidence. I’ve seen him first hand, he takes everyone along,” NCP MP Supriya Sule said, her comments also a subtle reminder that all three parties – Sena, NCP and Congress – had equal say in the coalition.
Ms Sule was more conciliatory than her colleague Majeed Memon, who said: “It’s not right to say Congress is not part of the decision making process. Congress members are part of the Cabinet. They are not providing support from outside. They are in the cabinet and sign off on decisions made by the Maharashtra Government, which includes the Congress party.”
Inister’s reluctance to end the lockdown and actively explore his suggestions to reopen Maharashtra gradually and exit the indefinite shutdown in the state worst hit by the pandemic in the country.

“There is no threat to the Maharashtra government. All MLAs are with us, any attempt to break them at this time will result in the public beating us,” Mr Pawar told Newsman this morning.
(Bureau Report With Agency Inputs ).



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