Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday that a conspiracy has been hatched to malign the state by several people amid criticism over the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the row involving Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut.
“Some people may feel that now coronavirus disease is over and they should start their politics again. I will not talk about politics but there is a conspiracy to discredit Maharashtra,” Thackeray said in a televised public address.
He, however, did not name anyone.
Maharashtra, which is the worst-hit state in the country, has seen more than a million cases of the coronavirus disease. There has also been a controversy recently over Ranaut after her office was demolished by the state government-controlled civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The chief minister assured people that he is ready to face any “storm” be it a political one or that of the coronavirus disease. “Whatever political storms come, I will face them… I will fight the coronavirus pandemic too,” Thackeray said.
“My silence doesn’t mean that I don’t have answers,” he added.
In his latest address, which came a day after Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra crossed the 1 million mark, Thackeray also said that his government has done effective work to tackle the pandemic.
Speaking on Covid-19 situation in the state, Thackeray said that it is likely to become more severe in the coming days. He also urged people to follow all social distancing norms to control the virus spread.
Ranaut and Thackeray-led Shiv Sena have been engaged in a bitter war of words after the critically acclaimed actor said she feels unsafe in Mumbai and has no trust in Mumbai Police after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.
On Wednesday, Ranaut’s office in Bandra was partially demolished by BMC, triggering criticism from several political leaders and her Bollywood colleagues. Flanked by security guards provided by the Union home ministry, Ranaut had reached Mumbai hours after the BMC carried out the demolition.
Maharashtra is among the worst-hit state by the Covid-19 pandemic. On Sunday, the state reported 22,084 new cases, pushing its tally to 10,37,765 including 7,28,512 recoveries and 279,768 active cases, according to the state health department.