Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that he will face both the growing political controversy in the state and the escalating coronavirus crisis, PTI reported. Thackeray’s remark came amid his government’s feud with actor Kangana Ranaut.
“Whatever political storms come, I will face [them],” Thackeray was quoted as saying by the news agency in a televised address. “I will fight coronavirus too.”
The Maharashtra chief minister alleged that there was a conspiracy to defame his government amid its battle with the health crisis, according to The Indian Express. He also expressed concern about the rising coronavirus numbers. “Coronavirus has not gone down, the numbers are rising,” he said. “It is increasing in rural areas. We are increasing attendance in offices and industries and have restarted inter-district travel. “Mission Begin Again”, festivals and monsoon all coincided and what I had feared is happening.”
Thackeray urged people to not stop taking the necessary precautions. “This is probably the most dangerous pandemic the world has seen till date,” he said, according to Mumbai Mirror. “But we are still bravely fighting against it to keep our people safe. Now it is upon the people to take care of themselves. Such pandemics and infections might come in the future as well, but if the people of the state stand by each other, no disease can break our spirit.”
Thackeray announced the launch of the “My family, my responsibility” campaign to involve people in the efforts to fight the coronavirus. “We should share our responsibilities to make the campaign a success,” he said. “This war can be won only with people’s wholehearted support.”
The chief minister acknowledged that Maharashtra was facing a shortage of oxygen but said that his government was working to resolve the problem. He assured the people that there was no shortage of medicines or hospital beds in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra, which is India’s worst coronavirus-hit state, has reported more than 10 lakh cases and 29,115 deaths so far.
The state government, while handling the pandemic, is also embroiled in a row with Ranaut. The controversy began after Ranaut claimed that Mumbai felt like Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and that she feared living in the city. She had also criticised the Mumbai Police for its handling of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case.
Ranaut had tweeted multiple videos of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials carrying out a demolition drive at her property in Bandra on Wednesday and accused the Maharashtra government of trying to intimidate her.
On Thursday, the Bombay High Court had adjourned her petition against the demolition of her property over alleged violation of construction norms till September 22. A police complaint was also filed against Ranaut for allegedly using “foul” and derogatory language against Thackeray in a video.
Government supports justice for the Marathas, says Thackeray
Thackeray appealed to Maratha organisations to not hold protests for quota amid the coronavirus crisis and assured them of his support.
“The government is firmly with the cause of justice to Maratha community and is working on how to proceed ahead,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. “I have spoken to Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis who is in Bihar now and he has assured the BJP’s complete support.”