Amid firefighting in the Congress following Rahul Gandhi's comments about "supporting, not running" the Maharashtra government, sidelined party leader Sanjay Nirupam went all out against Uddhav Thackeray, deepening the coalition crisis. The Chief Minister should communicate more with his coalition partners than the media, Mr Nirupam remarked.
"The Chief Minister keeps speaking to the public. If he could have similar consultations regularly with his alliance partners then he would not have to do 60 flip-flops in 60 days," said the former Congress MP.
"He keeps changing his decisions everyday, decisions that are delayed and often wrong. The result, the corona crisis is increasing," Mr Nirupam said.
The six-month-old Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress has been denying reports of trouble in their partnership over the virus crisis and its impact on the state. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's comments intensified speculation.
"I would like to make a differentiation here. We are supporting the government in Maharashtra, but we are not the key decision maker in Maharashtra. We are decision-makers in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Puducherry. There is a difference between running the government and supporting it," Mr Gandhi said in response to media questions.
The Congress later said their leader's comments had been twisted out of context.
Mr Nirupam, a vocal Maharashtra Congress leader, is seen to have been marginalized by his party leadership. This is not the first time the former Congress Mumbai Congress chief has gone public with his criticism of his own government.
He had been deeply opposed to the Congress partnering with the Shiv Sena, incidentally his former party, and recently, he had declared the Uddhav Thackeray government a failure in tackling the Covid crisis.
Maharashtra, with 52,667 coronavirus cases and 1,695 deaths, is worst hit by the pandemic in the country. Mumbai accounts for over 31,000 cases.