Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday wanted to know who gave the permission for the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhis Nizamuddin, which has emerged as one of the major COVID-19 hotspots in the country.
In a social media address, he said two large gatherings were proposed in Maharashtra one in Vasai near Mumbai and another in Solapur district. Permission for the first gathering was denied, while the police took action against the organisers of the Solapur event for violating the advisory in the State.
If State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray could take such a decision, why was permission not denied for a similar congregation in Delhi, and who approved it? he asked.
Mr. Pawar also questioned the hype created by electronic media over the Nizamuddin event. Why was it so necessary for the media to hype it? As it not only unnecessarily targets an entire community but also leads to an increase in communal tension in the country.
Mr. Pawar expressed concern over fake messages related to the novel coronavirus being posted on social media. I have noticed a lot of messages are circulated on WhatsApp groups. I think four out of five such messages are fake and misleading. Is someone purposely trying to create a dubious environment through such messages?
The NCP chief asked people to maintain a scientific temperament during the lockdown and follow social distancing to contain the spread of COVID-19. The country will celebrate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Phule on April 11 and of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkars on April 14, but the lockdown is effective till April 15. Instead of coming out on streets, people can pay their respect by lighting a candle in respect of wisdom and constitution on these two days.
On challenges before Maharashtra, Mr. Pawar said the Centre needed to provide a financial aid. It is imperative for the Centre to offer some package as the lockdown has deeply affected the States economy. I have already spoken to economist Vijay Kelkar to come up with some solutions and recommendations. My suggestion has been accepted by the CM, he said, adding the financial package should include assistance for farmers as well.