Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
Photo via @SanjayJog7 on Twitter

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre for its "step-motherly treatment", highlighting that the central government neither released funds on time nor assessed damaged caused by the untimely rains and floods in the state.

Lakhs of people were evacuated in Western Maharastra, back in August, due to devastating floods in five districts of the state, including the worst-hit Kolhapur and Sangli, even as authorities were dealing with a raging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak.

The chief minister further said that the BJP had "backstabbed" the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra following the state assembly polls last year, by backtracking on its promises of "equal power-sharing" and the "chief minister's post", made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a closed-room meet. "It was not expected from a long-time ally," said the chief minister.

The chief minister further slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition's critics and said that all its detractors have been "proved wrong" by the successful functioning of the coalition government formed by Shiv Sena, Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

In doing so, Uddhav Thackeray ruled out any rumours of 'realignment' with its former ally — the BJP. He said that the Shiv Sena will partner up with NCP and Congress, its allies in the MVA, for contesting the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls and ensuing elections together.

He hailed active cooperation from rulling allies NCP and Congress, his party - Shiv Sena - and other partners, legislators, and administrative machinery for the successful completion of his one year as the chief minister and also for the coalition government.

Thackeray said that notwithstanding the raging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the state has received investment proposals worth Rs 51,000 crore.

Pointing out that MoUs are at different stages of implementation, he contended that the recent development has once again proved that Maharashtra continues to be the favoured destination for investments.

Uddhav Thackeray also said that the state government is working on a plan to provide relief to the electricity bills received by citizens during the COVID-19 lockdown, which are higher than the average.

Urging people to strictly observe self-discipline and follow protocols to avoid spreading infection, the chief minister reminded citizens that the coronavirus crisis is "not yet over".

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Free Press Journal