Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday alleged that the BJP's Jan Ashirvad yatras is leading to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state and said that such events will 'obviously' lead to a further increase in the number of cases.
Speaking to reporters here today, Pawar said, "On one hand the central government is asking us to take care (of COVID cases) and on the other hand it is asking the newly inducted four ministers (from Maharashtra) to take out rallies/Yatra. The gathering is taking place at these rallies and that will affect the cases obviously."
"Wherever these rallies are taking place and gatherings are happening, we will see the effect (of increased cases) in the coming days. Though we are of the opinion that cases should not increase but still if it happens at these places where rallies are taking place who shall be held responsible? This must be considered as well," he questioned.
"In the wake of the COVID situation in the state, we meet our administration officials more often. Even today also I met with the officials and they have informed me that cases are increasing. We also have festivals around the corner. In coming times, Ganesh Utsav, Dahi Handi etc will be celebrated in Maharashtra. On such occasions, gatherings take place and no doubt, cases of COVID-19 increase. In such a scenario, we have seen that cases gradually increase. That happened during the first and even the second wave," the deputy CM said.
At present, Maharashtra has 55,341 active cases, while 62,59,906 people have recovered so far in the state. The death toll in the state stands at 1,37,026.
Meanwhile, India reported 45,083 new COVID-19 cases and 460 deaths in the last 24 hours said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.
Notably, of the total new cases recorded in the country, Kerala reported 31,265 new COVID cases and 153 deaths on Saturday.