In an exclusive interview with Republic TV, BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed distress over the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state. He further took a jibe at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government after 23 people from the Wadhawan family and the key members are out on bail in connection with the alleged DHFL scam, were allowed to flout the COVID-19 lockdown, with the alleged permission of a top Maharashtra bureaucrat.
The former CM said that the state is moving towards community transmission and added that if the VVIP's act like this, the general public will walk in their footsteps.
"Mumbai and Maharashtra are moving towards community transmission. If VVIPs act like this, the general public will also move around just like them," said Fadnavis.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra registered its highest single-day rise in the novel coronavirus tally after 229 new COVID-19 cases were detected on Thursday. Currently, there are 1364 novel coronavirus cases in Maharashtra. Apart from this, 25 COVID-19 patients- 14 from Pune, 9 from Mumbai and one each from Malegaon and Ratnagiri passed away in the state propelling the death toll to 97.
Taking to Twitter, Fadnavis questioned how the Wadhawan family was allowed to spend holidays in Mahabaleshwar despite the lockdown and also hinted that the orders could have come from the government due to which the senior IPS officer and principal secretary of Home Department Amitabh Gupta allowed the family to travel to Mahabaleshwar. The top official has since been put on compulsory leave pending inquiry, by the Maharashtra government.
In another tweet, Fadnavis questioned Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh asking them to explain why were they allowed to travel to Mahabaleshwar.
Amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed till April 14, Satara Superintendent of Police (SP) on Thursday confirmed that the Wadhawan's family, promoters of RKW and DHFL, allegedly violated the lockdown. Satara's SP informed Republic Media Network that 23 members of the Wadhawan family travelled to Mahabaleshwar on Thursday. He added that the locals flagged authorities on their arrival and that an investigation has been ordered on how they managed to reach Mahabaleshwar.
This comes at a time when the state has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases (1324 cases). Maharashtra also recorded an alarming spike of 229 cases, highest in a single day, with a total of 97 deaths as of April 9. Taking notice of the violation, Maharashtra government sent special Principal Secretary Amitabh Gupta (who had sanctioned the guarantee letter) on compulsory leave starting Friday. Meanwhile, an FIR has been filed.