Fadnavis targets CM Thackeray for his failure to tackle COVID-19 pandemic in Maharashtra

Devendra Fadnavis-Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai: The leader of the Opposition and ex-CM, Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday criticised the Uddhav Thackeray government over its efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Attacking on the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi government, Fadnavis said that the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is “scared” of taking initiatives to deal with the situation. Talking about Mumbai, which is the worst affected Indian city from the novel coronavirus, Fadnavis said there are no beds available for COVID-19 patients in government hospitals in the city, while half of the beds in intensive care units (ICUs) of private hospitals are lying vacant due to the government’s flip flops on the matter.

He pointed out that Maharashtra is the most affected state and it seems the situation in the financial capital of the country, Mumbai has gone out of the hand of the government. The government made strategical errors since the beginning of the first lockdown while the chief minister (Thackeray) is new and has no administrative experience.
The former chief minister said that there are already cracks within the Sena-led government and it would fall on its own. Indecisiveness is the biggest problem of the government in dealing with COVID-19. Thackeray is new and is scared of taking action and depends a lot on the bureaucracy, he pointed out.

Suggesting that state bureaucracy is running the show in Maharashtra during the COVID-19 crisis, the Opposition leader said there are “warring factions” within the bureaucracy as well, and the lack of assertiveness of political leadership is missing” to coordinate them.
Underlining that Maharashtra has always been a preferred destination for foreign investment in India, Fadnavis said but the state government is less proactive in starting the industry. Besides, industrial activities in the state totally affected because of two-month lockdown.

The state capital, Mumbai contributes 6 per cent to the country’s GDP. It is not a surprise that lockdown of the financial capital comes at a huge economic cost. It’s now a big question, how the metro would overcome from the grey area after Lockdown? Nearly 70 per cent of Mumbai’s contribution is service sector-oriented. Analysts calculate that even if half of the services sector is shut, over Rs 16,000-crore would be lost per month. Many sectors have been impacted by the lockdown, but one sector that has taken a big hit is realty. The Real estate sector contributes 13 per cent to the country’s GDP. And Mumbai’s real estate is highly-priced in the country. Last year, the market was Rs 12000-crore in terms of capital value. A reputed real estate consultant, says prices are 5 per cent lower this year and 3 per cent estimated for 2021.

The effect can also be assessed by the state’s revenue figures. Mumbai contributes 66 per cent to Maharashtra’s GDP. In March 2019, the state collected Rs 42,000-crore. But in 2020 March, because of lockdown, the collection dipped to just Rs 17,000 crore- a drop of 60 per cent. And hence, the situation is really very bleak and time to re-assess the situation.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Thackeray interacted with representatives of the entertainment industry and asked them to prepare an action plan on the limited resumption of film shooting and post-production activities by adhering to social distancing norms amidst the coronavirus-induced lockdown.