Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut today hit back at BJP MP Narayan Rane's demand for President's Rule in Maharashtra, saying Gujarat's performance in handling the COVID-19 crisis is "worse", hence it deserves to be put under the central rule first.
Without specifying any party or leader, Mr Raut said the opposition should get "quarantined", and that their efforts to destabilise the Maharashtra government could boomerang.
However, senior BJP leader and former minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said though the COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra is "grim", it does not qualify for President's rule.
Narayan Rane, who is the Rajya Sabha member, on Monday met Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari and demanded imposition of President's Rule in view of the Shiv Sena-led state government's "failure" in tackling the pandemic.
Reacting to it, Mr Raut said, "If you go by the Gujarat High Courts strictures on tackling the COVID-19 crisis, the states performance is worse compared to Maharashtra."
"If the President's Rule has to be imposed, the Centre should start with Gujarat first," Mr Raut told reporters.
He also dismissed speculations over the "stability" of the three-party (Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) alliance government in Maharashtra.
"It is better that the opposition should get quarantined. Their efforts to destabilise the Maharashtra government could boomerang. The opposition is yet to find a formula to bring down this government," the Sena's Rajya Sabha member said.
On NCP chief Sharad Pawars meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday, Mr Raut said, Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought advice from Sharad Pawar.
There should be no objection to Mr Pawar making any suggestions or discussing issues with Thackeray.
Meanwhile, Mr Mungantiwar said the opposition BJP in Maharashtra is not of the opinion that President's Rule should be imposed in the state.
"The situation in Maharashtra is grim, but it does not qualify for Presidents rule. We feel the current state government is not serious enough to tackle the situation," the BJP leader told a news channel, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
There are enough resources with Maharashtra to contain the coronavirus spread, but the state government is "not making enough efforts," he claimed.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)