A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked officials to prepare a plan for implementation of a lockdown, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil said lockdown is not a solution for the rise in cases of coronavirus.
Talking to reporters in Pune after meeting Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta, Patil said not the only BJP, but all traders and workers from unorganised sectors will opposethe lockdown.
“Lockdown is not an answer to the increasing COVID-19 cases in the state. If the lockdown is imposed, you (state government) will not give any package (for relief to affected people). How people lived in the last one year cannot be understood by sitting inside ”Matoshree”,” Mr Patil said. ”Matoshree” is the residence of Chief Minister Thackeray in Bandra area of Mumbai.
Mr Patil said there is no objection to night curfew, but activities during the day should be continued.
“I am okay with the night curfew. Nobody goes out at night. There are some people with you (in state government) who go out as they want nightlife,” the BJP leader said.
He was apparently referring to state minister Aaditya Thackeray who had pitched for the revival of nightlife in Mumbai.
“If you really want to impose lockdown, announce a package and give ₹ 5,000 per month to every worker from the unorganised sector,” Mr Patil said.
Testing, tracing and treatment of COVID-19patients are the keys to check the spread of the viral infection, but lockdown is not an answer, he asserted.
Asked about speculation in political circles that NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Union Home Minister Amit Shah met in Ahmedabad on Saturday, Patil said he has no details of it.
“All such meetings take place routinely. In the Indian culture, politics is on one side, but we all should meet. Of late, such meetings have decreased in Maharashtra (among opponents),” he said.
Mr Patil said since Mr Pawar and Mr Shah were there (in Ahmedabad), they might have met.
The NCP shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and Congress.
Asked whether he is okay if the BJP and NCP come together, Mr Patil said whatever decision is taken by senior leadership of the BJP, it will be accepted as it will always be in the interest of the party.
Mr. Patil also wished good health to Pawar (80), who will undergo surgery at a hospital in Mumbai after it was diagnosed that he has gall bladder issue.