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Centre slams Maha’tra CM of ‘Shameless politics’ after he complains of oxygen shortage

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: A war of words broke out between BJP-led central government and Maharashtra administration on Saturday over the shortage of medical oxygen supply for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients in the state. Slamming state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over alleged complaints of oxygen shortage,  Union railways minister Piyush Goyal claimed that Maharashtra received the highest quantity of oxygen across the country and that the Centre is in constant touch with state governments to “assess their needs and help them in best possible manner”.

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“GoI, with all stakeholders, is ensuring maximum oxygen production in India. We are currently producing 110% of Oxygen generating capacity and diverting all available Oxygen from industrial use to medical use,” Goyal tweeted.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at Friday’s review meeting on medical oxygen where he told that the Centre and states should work together in this crisis, Goyal accused Maharashtra CM Thackeray of playing petty politics.

“He (Thackray) needs to stop his daily dose of shameless politics and take responsibility,” the Union railways minister wrote on the microblogging site and added the state is suffering from an inept and corrupt government. “People of Maharashtra are following ‘Majha Kutumb, Majhi Javabadari’ dutifully. It is time the CM also follows his duties in the spirit of ‘Majha Rajya, Majhi Javabadari,” he said.

Centre’s statement came after CM Thackeray’s April 13 public address over the worsening Covid-19 disease situation, in which he had said that there is a shortage of medical oxygen, beds and an increased demand for the Remdesivir drug in the state. He requested the Centre to provide assistance in supplying oxygen to the state by using the aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and he would speak to the Prime Minister in this regard.

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On Saturday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minority minister Nawab Malik alleged that the chief minister was trying to contact PM Modi over the shortage of oxygen and Remdesivir, but he was told PM Modi is currently on a tour to West Bengal for the ongoing state assembly elections.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra which is the worst-hit state with Coronavirus pandemic, has so far recorded over 3.7 million cases, 59,551 deaths and 3,519,208 recoveries, according to the state health department’s bulletin. On Friday, the state saw the highest daily surge of 63,729 new cases while 398 succumbed to the infection.

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The state of Maharashtra, apart from a weekend lockdown and night curfew, has also been placed under Section 144 from April 14, 8pm to May 1, 7am where no movement of residents is permitted without valid reasons and all essential services have to operate from 7am to 8pm.

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