Amidst the rising demand for opening temples and allowing the celebration of festivals by BJP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the MVA government is not against any festival but against COVID-19.
"The corona is not a government program, prescribed norms and rules will have to be followed to prevent Corona. The Center also fears an increase in infections during these festivals," he added.
He was speaking virtually after inaugurating an oxygen plant in Thane.
He also appealed to people to observe restraint in his Twitter post.
Ashirvad' rallies putting people's life in danger as they are held despite 3rd wave threat: Thackeray
In a veiled swipe at BJP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said "Ashirvad" rallies are being organised despite the threat of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic "which is putting the lives of people in danger".
the CM also said that "these people do not seem to care if some people die due to such rallies".
Newly-appointed Union ministers of BJP recently organised "Jan Ashirwad" rallies to take blessings of people.
"There is the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 but some people are still organising 'Ashirwad' rallies. They are not seeking blessings from the people but they are in fact putting the lives of the people in danger," said Thackeray, who heads Shiv Sena.
He said when Sena was formed it was announced that the party will do 80 per cent social work and 20 per cent politics.
"But today there are parties in the country that are 100 per cent into politics. They do not want to do any work that will benefit the people but they are organising rallies and events that would put their lives in danger," he said.
"These people do not seem to care if some people die due to such rallies," said Thackeray.
Thackeray also said that he was missing the excitement of Dahi Handi due to restrictions, which do not allow public celebrations of the festival.
Dahi Handi festival or 'Gopalkala' is celebrated a day after Janmashtami marking the birth of Lord Shrikrishna.
"I must admit that I am missing the excitement of Dahi Handi and the celebrations for the last couple of years. I had personally attended some such events in the past," Thackeray recalled.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) celebrated the traditional 'Dahi Handi' festival in Thane and neighbouring Palghar district, even though the celebrations have been banned in the wake of the
Days after the Centre’s advisory to Maharashtra for the imposition of additional curbs ahead of Dahi Handi and Ganpati festival due to the possibility of a third wave of Covid-19, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the government was mulling a night curfew.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would take a decision in this regard, Tope said. Tope’s announcement came close on the heels of Kerala government’s decision to impose night curfew from 10pm to 6am from Monday in that state in the wake of the sharp rise in cases after Onam celebrations.
“In view of the upcoming festivals in the state, care needs to be taken to avoid virus spread. The Centre’s suggestion will be implemented. However, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take the final decision in this regard,” he added.
The Chief Minister's advice comes after Maharashtra reported 3,741 new coronavirus cases and 52 fresh fatalities on Monday, taking the infection tally to 64,60,680 and the toll to 1,37,209.
4,696 patients were discharged from hospitals across the state in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative number of recovered patients to 62,68,112.
The state, which now has 51,834 active cases, has 2,88,489 people in home isolation and another 2,299 in institutional quarantine, he said.
Maharashtra's COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.02 per cent, while the fatality rate is 2.12 per cent.
The cumulative number of coronavirus tests conducted in the state climbed to 5,38,12,827, of with 1,63,214 were conducted in the last 24 hours, the official said.
Coronavirus tests are generally low over the weekends as compared to other days and this translates into a drop in positive cases on Mondays.
Eight districts namely Dhule, Jalgaon, Hingoli, Akola, Yavatmal, Wardha, Gondia, Chandrapur, and six municipal corporations - Dhule, Jalgaon, Malegaon,Parbhani, Nanded and Chandrapur (their urban centres) - did not report any fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, he said.
Ahmednagar district reported the highest 770 new infections, followed by Satara at 446, while Solapur was the only district in the state that reported deaths in double digits at 19.
Among the eight regions of Maharashtra (comprising multiple districts), the Pune region reported the highest cases at 1,512 followed by 888 in Nashik.
Among the other regions, the Mumbai region reported 650 new cases, Kolhapur 521, Latur 113, Aurangabad 27, Akola 21 and the Nagpur region nine, the official said.
Among the 52 fatalities from the eight regions, the highest 22 were reported from Pune followed by 14 from the Mumbai region.
Significantly, Akola and Aurangabad regions did not report any fresh fatalities, while the Kolhapur region reported 12 deaths, Latur 2 and Nashik and Nagpur regions one each.
Mumbai registered 333 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths, while Pune city reported 168 infections, but no fresh fatality.
Among the 51,834 active cases in the state, Pune district has the highest at 12,717
(With inputs from agencies)