UPDATED: March 30, 2021 14:48 IST
CM Uddhav Thackeray’s warning of bringing back a complete lockdown in Maharashtra amid the fresh spike in coronavirus cases has run into opposition among his allies as well as the BJP and others.
NCP, BJP and even industrialist Anand Mahindra has raised objections to the plans of a complete lockdown in Maharashtra. Several states across the country, including Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi, have been witnessing a fresh increase in daily coronavirus cases.
In a meeting with the Covid task force on Sunday, CM Uddhav Thackeray asked the administration to start preparations for another lockdown. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar reportedly opposed the move of full lockdown at the meeting.
Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik also opposed a possible lockdown. “We can’t afford another lockdown in Maharashtra. We’ve asked the CM to consider other options. Due to rising cases, he has directed the administration to prepare for another lockdown, but that doesn’t mean that it is inevitable. If people follow the rules, it can be avoided,” said Malik.
BJP has also said that it will oppose another lockdown in Maharashtra. BJP state president Chandrakant Patil said on Monday that a stringent lockdown would be calamitous for the lakhs of people in Maharashtra’s unorganised sector.
“Lockdown is not an option at this stage. The BJP is going to oppose such a move with all its might. And not only us, but ordinary traders and labourers will be vehemently opposed to it. You can take whatever steps you may wish to check the spread of the contagion, but those living a hand-to-mouth will fight this measure tooth and nail,” said Patil.
The opposition didn’t stop at the political level. Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra tweeted on Monday that more focus should be given on strengthening the medical infrastructure and curbing mortality instead of imposing another lockdown.
He warned that another lockdown would affect poor migrant workers and small businesses the most.
Mahindra, tagging the Maharashtra CM’s Office, tweeted, “The problem, @OfficeofUTji, is that the people a lockdown hurts most are the poor, migrant workers and small businesses. The original lockdowns were essential to buy time to build up hospital/health infrastructure. Let’s focus on resurrecting that and on avoiding mortality.”
Maharashtra on Monday added 31,643 fresh infections, but the relatively lower tally was attributed to reduced testing because of the Holi holiday. The state has recorded close to 6 lakh cases this month and registered over 2,100 deaths.