Maharashtra Water Resources Minister and state Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Jayant Patil warned that the government may initiate action against Shiv Pratisthan Founder Sambhaji Bhide for his controversial statement that people who die due to COVID-19 are not fit to live. Patil slammed Bhide and said, "It is inappropriate to make misleading statements while the state government and people are working together in times of the present COVID-19 crisis. Such statements will not be tolerated. In such cases, if necessary, action will be taken against those who make controversial statements,” he said.
Bhide, on April 8, stoked a controversy after he claimed that COVID-19 is not a disease and those who died of it were not fit to live. He also urged the people to revolt against the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners and throw it out of power for its move to impose strict curbs under the Break The Chain initiative. The MVA partners had led a scathing attack against Bhide, but Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not make any comment.
Patil reiterated that the state government will not tolerate such misleading statements during the present coronavirus crisis, especially when efforts are underway to combat the virus by breaking its chain. “Such statements affect the seriousness of the situation and the collective fight against the virus,” he said.
Patil also referred to Bhide’s statement that ‘if a couple wants a male child, they will have it after eating these mangoes. This mango is useful for those facing infertility.’ “If such statements are made to create misunderstanding, it is clearly not proper. The government will legally examine Bhide’s recent statement that those who die due to COVID-19 are not fit to live and take action against him,” he noted.