The Uddhav government has proven itself to be disastrous in the handling of the coronavirus in Maharashtra so far. The state is recording the highest number of coronavirus cases as well as deaths across the country. In fact, Maharashtra alone accounts for more than half of India’s total cases currently.
A few days ago, the Union government released 11,000 crore rupees to different states in the state disaster relief management fund accounts in order to help them with the fight against the Coronavirus. A large amount of this fund (1,611 crore rupees) went to Maharashtra alone because of the high caseload in the state.
“The Central Government has released in advance its share of first instalment of SDRMF for the year 2020-21, amounting to 11,092 crore rupees, to augment funds available with the State governments,” a statement by the MHA said.
Given the lacklustre response of the Uddhav government in the fight against the Coronavirus, it seems that Maharashtra is deliberately allowing the caseload to surge to get financial help from the Union government. Yet, the Modi government continues helping the state in the fight against Coronavirus financially as well as with human professionals to ensure that the situation can be brought under control.
However, the Uddhav government does not look proactive to control the situation, because they keep getting financial help from the Union government to fight the virus. In the last few months, the financial situation in Maharashtra has worsened due to falling tax collection (money is going directly to politicians’ coffers, not state treasury) and rising expenditure.
The Uddhav government has often been criticised for destroying the economy of the state in the last one and a half years and the financial help from the Union government seems to be the only option to save itself from bankruptcy.
Recently, the MVA government had imposed a night curfew from 8 pm to 7 am from Monday whilst simultaneously announcing that the state will also go for a complete weekend lockdown from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday. As per the new rules, hotels and restaurants can only allow takeaways. In-hotel dining will not be permitted. The immediate response of the hospitality and dining sector has been tear-jerking and emotional, to say the least.
The Uddhav government has not been able to control the virus despite having the best medical professionals (Mumbai has many of the top hospitals in the country) and spending billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money (of the state treasury as well as the money given by union government).
Despite the oft-repeated advice from the top medical professionals that the lockdowns do not help to prevent the virus from spreading, the Uddhav government allegedly resorted to its own ways and as a result, the cases of COVID have surged in Maharashtra. The initial lockdown was imposed to buy time to ramp up medical infrastructure and most of the states like Odisha, UP and Bihar built hospitals and augmented the capacity.
Maharashtra, on the other hand, did not take steps to ramp up medical infrastructure under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray. The Shiv Sena supremo seems single-handedly responsible for the worsening situation of the state and is reportedly profiting from the money sent by the union government to fight against the virus.