Covid-19: Is Sharad Pawar standing in for CM Thackeray, asks Opposition


Recently Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar held a meeting with State Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil to discuss the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the State and review the State’s preparedness to tackle the third wave. On Monday Pawar along with State Transport Minister Anil Parab met agitating State transport employees who are on strike for the last few months to resolve the issue.

But these are not just a few meetings. The NCP stalwart who is also the architect of the Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress government in Maharashtra to keep the BJP away from power has been busy.

For the last two months, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has kept a low profile after a spine surgery and has stayed away from the office, and is working from home. He even skipped the Assembly sessions and avoided meetings and public appearances.

The State BJP President Chandrakant Patil and other leaders have already demanded that CM must give charge to senior Ministers in the cabinet. The opposition has alleged that Sharad Pawar is running the show in Maharashtra.

‘Only CM takes decisions’

On Tuesday when reporters asked Pawar in Mumbai about the BJP’s allegations he said that in a democracy he has every right to discuss issues with workers’ unions. “There is nothing wrong in discussions with (State Transport workers). Only the CM takes decisions. He is having some health issues but the Transport Minister must have communicated the discussions to the CM. Important policy decisions are jointly taken by the cabinet and CM” Sharad Pawar said.

Pawar’s nephew and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has led the front in the recent State Assembly session in CM’s absence while BJP leaders alleged that this was the first Assembly Session in the history of the State where the head of the State remained absent.

With the number of Covid-19 cases rising in Mumbai and Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has repeatedly said that all decisions regarding imposing restrictions to curb the spread of the virus are being taken by the CM.

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