Maharashtra: 60 per cent of ministers tested positive for COVID-19 so far
Mumbai: Almost after a year that created havoc amid COVID-19, around 15 state ministers in Maharashtra have been infected so far, besides several MPs, MLAs, MLCs of different political parties, close aides getting infected too.
With Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal testing positive COVID-19 on Monday, around 60 per cent of ministers in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government have contracted the infection till now. Directing alarm bells ringing, several leaders across political parties in Maharashtra have been infected by COVID-19. Shockingly, two of the ministers have tested positive for the second time.
Apart from Bhujbal, the infected Ministers and political leaders include, State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Food & Drugs Administration Minister Dr Rajendra Shingne, Nationalist Congress Party State President and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil to name a few.
Maharashtra Congress President Nana F Patole had also gone into isolation after two of his staffers tested positive. Senior NCP leader Eknath Khadse and Minister of State for Labour and Prahar Janshakti leader Bachchu Kadu are infected too.
The duo now has tested positive for the second time, while the latter's daughter-in-law and BJP MP from Raver Raksha Khadse is also tested positive. Khadse had been infected in November 2020.
Meanwhile, Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, Maharashtra Legislative Council Chairman has requested the Centre and State governments to ensure priority vaccination drive for all legislators and Legislature staffers. The worries are further compounded by the upcoming Maharashtra Legislature's Budget Session beginning here on March 1 with the Budget likely to be presented on March 8.
According to a report, state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday will conduct a meeting with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials to review the COVID-19 situation in the state. Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 5,210 new cases of COVID-19.