Hitting back at Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for his criticism of the BJP over the appointment of 12 Maharashtra Legislative Council members, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said instead of thinking about that issue, he should worry about the coronavirus patients in the state.
Mr Fadnavis, who was on a visit to Ulhasnagar to take stock of the healthcare facilities there, said this in response to a query by reporters.
"Raut should not bother about the appointment of 12 lehislators. He should worry about the coronavirus patients," Mr Fadnavis said.
Shiv Sena is helming the three party-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state, which has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country so far.
Mr Raut on Sunday slammed the BJP over the issue of appointment of 12 state Legislative Council members from the governor's quota, saying delay in their nomination would amount to violation of the Constitution and suppression of freedom.
In his weekly column ''Rokthok'' in Sena mouthpiece ''Saamana'', Mr Raut said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, "politicking hasn't stopped", be it over the border standoff with China or handling of the coronavirus situation.
The Rajya Sabha member said there were speculations that the appointment of 12 Legislative Council members from the governor's quota may be put on hold and the "new government" (after ousting the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi) would make its own appointments after October.
Mr Raut alleged that the opposition party does not want MVA-recommended members to be nominated to 12 seats under the governor''s quota in the Upper House of Legislature.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led government is yet to recommend 12 names to the governor for nomination in the Legislative Council. The term of the 12 governor-nominated appointees ended last month.