CM Uddhav Thackeray is New, Appears Scared of Taking Action: Devendra Fadnavis

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BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday accused the Maharashtra government of being "indecisive" in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and causing the situation to worsen there, and said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is "scared" of taking initiatives to deal with the situation.

Talking about Mumbai, which is the worst affected Indian city from the novel coronavirus, Fadnavis said there are no beds available for COVID-19 patients in government hospitals in the city, while half of the beds in intensive care units (ICUs) of private hospitals are lying vacant due to the government's flip flops on the matter.

Private hospitals are charging Rs 30,000 from coronavirus affected patient per day for a bed, and giving these beds to those who have the capacity to pay, the former Maharashtra chief minister said.

He said all this is happening despite the announcement of the state government that 80 per cent of beds in private hospitals belong to it.

"Indecisiveness is the biggest problem of the Maharashtra government in dealing with COVID-19. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey is new and is scared of taking action and depends a lot on the bureaucracy," the erstwhile ally of Thackrey-led Shiv Sena, Fadnavis, said while interacting with journalists through video conference.

Suggesting that state bureaucracy is running the show in the state during the COVID-19 crisis, Fadnavis, who is the leader of opposition in the state assembly, said there are "warring factions" within the bureaucracy as well, and the lack of assertiveness of political leadership is missing" to coordinate them.

When asked whether Mahrashtra could remain the industrial powerhouse of the country after migrant labourers left the state in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, he said the state government didn't do much for them during the lockdown to stop them from going.

"The state government has done flip-flop on the issue. It appears the state government wanted them to leave the state. Maharashtra's migrant labourers have contributed to the state's economy. Now, we have fear in our mind that when will they come. But prospects of them coming back are bleak as of now," he said.

Underlining that Mahrashtra has always been a preferred destination for foreign investment in India, Fadnavis said but the state government is less proactive in starting the industry.

"Lifetime opportunity for Maharashtra to attract industry moving out of China but the state government needs to be proactive," he said.

On the question how long the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP coalition government will last, Fadnavis said there are already cracks within the government and it will fall on its own."