Maharashtra minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan on Sunday said the Narendra Modi government had failed to handle the COVID-19 pandemica effectively and had overseen the loss of 12.21 crore jobs.
Addressing a virtual press meet on the Modi-government completing two years of its second term, and seven overall, Mr Chavan said the Centre had kept all decision-making powers in its hands but was now blaming the state governments after the COVID-19 outbreak spiralled out of control.
Queried on whether he had any favourite minister in the Modi dispensation, Mr Chavan said "good words" could be spoken about Union Minister and Nagpur MP Nitin Gadkari who despite ideological differences, maintains "dialogue with other parties".
"He is the right man in the wrong party. He has a positive approach towards Maharashtra but his powers are being continuously curtailed," Mr Chavan said, though he did not elaborate on his assertion.
"The price of petrol had reached Rs 100 per lite. Some 12.21 core people have lost their jobs. The per capita income of Bangladesh is now higher than that of India. The policies of the Centre have devastated the country," the former Maharashtra chief minister claimed.
Mr Chavan alleged the Centre had a discriminatory attitude towards Maharashtra on all fronts, including aid and GST compensation.
He also attacked the BJP over the Maratha quota issue, and asked the ruling party at the Centre to come up with a solution after the Supreme Court, on May 5, struck down a state law granting reservations in jobs and education to the community.
He congratulated BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati for trying to meet leaders of all parties to evolve a consensus on the Maratha quota issue.