Jayant Patil
Jayant Patil

Mumbai: Maharashtra Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Jayant Patil led a scathing attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party for playing politics during the coronavirus crisis and said the latter would not be able to repeat Karnataka- or Madhya Pradesh-like Operation Lotus in the state. Patil, at the press conference through Zoom, alleged that BJP was yet unable to digest that it was no more in power and out of frustration levelling charges against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

''BJP is frustrated and making efforts to topple the government. However, the MVA government is quite stable and there has been proper dialogue among three partners. The government will remain in power for next 15 years,'' said Patil. He took a swipe at the BJP saying that still some of their leaders, without naming the former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, feel that they will return to power (Mi Punha Yein). However, BJP won't succeed in its plan, he added.

On Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's approval for the nomination of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the legislative council, Patil said he did not want to make any comment that may disrespect the governor. ''The governor is expected to take a decision on the recommendation made by the state government within the legal framework. He may take one or two more days to seek legal opinion,'' he noted.

On the present state of the economy, because of the coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown, Patil said Deputy CM Ajit Pawar had sought Rs 25,000 crore package and Rs 16,000 crore GST dues from the centre to spend during the present crisis. However, the government has not yet responded. ''The economy has been hit by the coronavirus lockdown. The government has formed three panels to suggest measures for revival. The government will have to think out of the box and adopt innovative measures to attract investments and revive the economy,'' he viewed.

Patil, who had been state finance minister in the past, expressed serious displeasure over the lack of any decision by the centre on the reduction of GST on personal protective equipment kits and other medical gadgets needed for coronavirus treatment. He asserted that the Centre should have helped Maharashtra, where the number of coronavirus positive cases are higher, by reducing GST.

On the centre's directive that donation to the PM CARES fund will be counted for CSR spending, Patil claimed that it shows how it was mean minded.

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