Mumbai: The Centre must accept the demand of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that states be given financial support during the crisis brought about by the coronavirus outbreak and the resultant lockdown, Maharashtra unit chief and state revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said on Saturday.
Interacting with journalists of regional media via video conferencing, Gandhi had said the Centre should stop acting like a "money lender" for its children by giving them credit instead of cash, and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the COVID-19 economic stimulus package.
"Keeping in mind the present condition of the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's demand for direct cash deposits in the accounts of migrant workers, poor, middle class and senior citizens must be considered by the Centre, which will boost the country's economy," Thorat said.
Thorat said Maharashtra was not only a big state but also a unique one, and was the centre of economic development of the country, but the outbreak had hit its revenue severely.
"We agree with Rahul Gandhi that Maharashtra is the center of economic development and also employment-generating state in the country," he said.
Thorat alleged that the Centre did not provide help to Maharashtra or other states fighting the outbreak, and must start providing "substantial assistance" immediately.
Thorat claimed the BJP leadership was taking projects like the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to neighbouring Gujarat to undermine Maharashtra's economic importance.
"The Congress leadership is aware of the great contribution of Maharashtra in the development of the country.
The Congress has looked at all the states in the same light, but unfortunately the present BJP leadership has not played a similar role in the last six years," Thorat said.