Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut
Photo Credit: PTI

Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday hit back at BJP MP Narayan Rane's demand for President's rule in Maharashtra, saying Gujarat's performance in handling the COVID-19 crisis is "worse", hence it deserves to be put under the central rule first.

Without specifying any party or leader, Raut said the opposition should get "quarantined", and that their efforts to destabilise the Maharashtra government could boomerang. However, senior BJP leader and former minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said though the COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra is "grim", it does not qualify for President's rule.

Rane, who is the Rajya Sabha member, on Monday met Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari and demanded imposition of President's rule in view of the Shiv Sena-led state government's "failure" in tackling the pandemic.

Reacting to it, Raut said, "If you go by the Gujarat High Courts strictures on tackling the COVID-19 crisis, the states performance is worse compared to Maharashtra." "If the Presidents rule has to be imposed, the Centre should start with Gujarat first," Raut told reporters.

He also dismissed speculations over the 'stability' of the three-party (Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) alliance government in Maharashtra. "It is better that the opposition should get quarantined. Their efforts to destabilise the Maharashtra government could boomerang. The opposition is yet to find a formula to bring down this government," the Sena's Rajya Sabha member said.

On NCP chief Sharad Pawars meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday, Raut said, Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought advice from Pawar. There should be no objection to Pawar making any suggestions or discussing issues with Thackeray."

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