The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while protesting against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, demanded a Rs 50,000 crore package from it. Its leaders across the state protested on Friday by holding placards at their home or near their party office.
BJP had organised an innovative Save Maharashtra protest against the government, alleging that it had failed to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadanvis along with former minister Vinod Tawade protested in front of the BJP state headquarters in Mumbai. State party president Chandrakant Patil and former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar joined this protest from Kolhapur and Chandrapur, respectively. Former minister Eknath Khadse, who criticised the BJP leadership last week, surprised everybody by joining the protest from his hometown Muktainagar in Jalgaon district.
"Our state has the highest number of cases of COVID-19 (30 per cent) in the country. The state government has failed to save the people of Maharashtra from the virus and, therefore, we have launched the Save Maharashtra campaign," Fadnavis said.
"The state government has not announced any package for the public so far. It should announce a Rs 50,000 crore package to help farmers, unorganised labourers and shop owners. The state government should learn something from smaller states like Orissa. Despite being a small state, Orissa helped their people with ration and direct cash. The Gujarat state government too helped their people. However, the state government and its ministers are living in a virtual world," Fadnavis slammed the state government while addressing the media at the protest site.
"Auto rickshaws need financial support. The central government has allowed the state to raise debt up to 5 per cent of the GDP. This means Maharashtra can get a loan of Rs 1.60 lakh crore. Maharashtra should raise this loan and should help people. The state government cannot always point a finger at the central government and wash off their responsibility," he added.
“Corona has exposed the administration of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Despite having fixed deposits of Rs 80,000 crore, BMC hospitals do not have beds, sufficient healthcare workers and other key facilities. Our agitation was aimed to convey the common man’s sufferings to the state government,” said former minister Ashish Shelar while protesting at Bandra.