BJP 'ready to risk children's lives' during protest: Deshmukh

Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday accused the BJP of being "ready to risk lives of children" during the opposition party's protest over the state government's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Deshmukh tweeted a picture which showed a group of children purportedly taking part in the protest, holding BJP flags and protest placards, but some of them with the face mask removed.

"@BJP4Maharashtra is ready to risk the lives of children for its political gains. This shows how much they care for the people," the NCP leader said.

Safety should be given priority over politics at this juncture, Deshmukh said, using the hashtag "MaharashtradrohiBJP" (anti-Maharashtra BJP).

State NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto took a swipe at the BJP through a cartoon.

The saffron party had asked its workers to wear black masks during the protest. The cartoon showed a man, supposedly a BJP worker, with a black lotus on his shoulders instead of the head, taking part in the protest standing in a balcony.

"Truth cannot be shrouded by fake protests. Odour is emanating from black flowers," read the cartoon's caption.

Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday led the opposition party's state-wide protest against the "failure" of the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP government to contain the pandemic.

Fadnavis and other BJP leaders including Vinod Tawde and Mumbai BJP president Mangal Prabhat Lodha held a protest at the party's office at Nariman point, holding placards in hands and sporting black masks and black ribbons.

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