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Opinion

In Maharashtra, focus on the pandemic – editorials

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This is not the time for political adventurerism. Both MVA and BJP should roll back

editorials
Updated: May 27, 2020 18:12 IST

A man walks with a mask beside the building of the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai, March 13, 2020
A man walks in a mask next to the Bombay Stock Exchange building, Mumbai, March 13, 2020 (Pratik Chorge / HT Photo)

Devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra has plunged into political uncertainty. Two separate developments have taken place. The first is the feeling that all is not well within the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalitions of the Shiv Sena Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (PCN). This was sparked by meetings that Sharad Pawar, widely considered the architect of the alliance, had with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray, even though Pawar made it clear that the government was safe. The perception was reinforced by the comment of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that the party was not the “key decision maker” in the state. To be sure, he preceded it with appreciation of the battle the state was waging, but the comment realized it distanced Congress from the performance of state government. Since then, he has spoken to the CM and expressed his support. The second development has been the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) intensifying its attacks on the state government, with party officials calling for the government of the President in the state.

It is time for both sides to step back and focus on the crisis in question. For its part, the BJP, like the Opposition, has the right to hold the government accountable for its handling of the pandemic. But it should resist any adventure, either by poaching on lawmakers from the other side or by using central power to impose the government of the president. Regime change will not solve the structural problems in Maharashtra overnight. But the responsibility also falls on the government of the day. The MVA must provide more coherent governance, smooth differences between allies, and accelerate its management of the pandemic.

Hindustan Times

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