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Friday,12-August-2022

Maharashtra

Amid vaccine spat, Maharashtra tops with 93L jabs

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COVID-19 Vaccine. (Photo: IANS)

Amid a major ‘vaccine-war’ with the Centre, it has emerged that Maharashtra continues to fly high in terms of the inoculation drive despite having nearly-exhausted its stocks, officials said here on Friday.

As per the latest data released for April 9 (today), the state has administered the highest 93,38,531 jabs, comprising 84,35,010 first doses and 903,521 second doses, making it the best performer in the national vaccination programme, officials pointed out.

The state is followed by Rajasthan with 88,07,351 vaccinations comprising 77,72,197 first jabs and 10,35,194 second doses.

Next is Gujarat with 84,75,305 vaccinations including 75,01,404 first doses and 973,901 second jabs.

In the past two days, the Centre and Maharashtra have been engaged in a bitter war of words with the latter accusing the former of ‘stepmotherly treatment’ for the state which is worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Top leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress said that the Centre has not given sufficient numbers of vaccines to Maharashtra but was allegedly concentrating on Gujarat and other states ruled by Bharatiya Janata Party.

Lashing out at the MVA, BJP’s Leader of Opposition Fadnavis said on Thursday evening that the vaccines’ “supply is not on the basis of population but purely based on state’s performance of execution of vaccination process”.

Refuting the MVA leaders’ contentions, Fadnavis also pointed out that only three states — Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan — have been given over 1-crore doses by the Centre.

While Maharashtra has a population of 12 crore, Gujarat and Rajasthan each have around 6 crore population, and the latter is ruled by Congress, he said.

As per the current figures, Uttar Pradesh ranks fourth with 81,45,161 vaccinations notched till date, comprising 69,51,956 first jabs and 11,93,205 second doses.

At the bottom of the list are less-populated smaller territories like Lakshadweep Islands (10,737), Union Territory of Daman & Diu (28,441), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (30,799), and Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli (31,851).

Maharashtra

BJP appoints new bosses for Maharashtra, Mumbai

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 The Bharatiya Janata Party has appointed former ministers Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Ashish Shelar as the chief of the part’s Maharashtra and Mumbai units, respectively, according to an announcement.

Bawankule and Shelar, both sitting legislators, replace Chandrakant Patil and Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who have been appointed as ministers in the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, earlier this week.

As per a statement by BJP President J. P. Nadda, both appointments are made with immediate effect, and come ahead of the imminent elections to various civic bodies in the state.

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Maharashtra

CM Eknath Shinde snubs Thackeray again, drops Shiv Sena from BAC meet

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In a fresh snub to ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray, his Shiv Sena faction in the Maharashtra Assembly was dropped from the crucial Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meet to prepare for the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Legislature.

Thackeray faction leader and chief whip Ajay Chaudhari had written to Speaker Rahul Narvekar seeking representation to the BAC, but it was rejected.

However, now two ministers from the faction headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde have been included in the BAC — Dada Bhuse and Uday Samant.

The BAC presided over by Shinde and attended by group leaders of all parties on Thursday decided to extend the Monsoon Session by two days and now it will be held from August 17-25.

This was because the legislature will not function on August 19 (Dahi Handi celebrations) and the weekend, and the two additional days would enable discussions and decisions on various issues.

The BAC comprises Assembly members like Shinde, BJP’s Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, NCP’s Jayant Patil, BJP’s Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar and Chandrakant Patil, and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan.

Besides, there are other invitees like Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal (NCP), Ashish Shelar (BJP), Chhagan Bhujbal (NCP) and Amin Patel (Congress) in the BAC.

From the Council, besides Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe, the BAC has newly-appointed Leader of Opposition Ambadas Danve and Anil Parab, both from Shiv Sena, Pravin Darekar and Vijay Girdhar (BJP), Shashikant Shinde (NCP) and Bhai Jagtap (Congress).

The invitees from the upper house included Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil (BJP), Jayant Patil (PWP), Kapil Patil (Lok Bharati) and Vikas Potnis (Shiv Sena).

After the government headed by Shinde and Fadnavis was sworn-in on June 30, the monsoon session was originally scheduled to start on July 17, but was postponed for various reasons.

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Maharashtra

Skeletons peep out of Maharashtra CM’s ‘mini-cabinet’, 75% ministers face criminal cases

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 The 18-member ‘mini-cabinet’ expansion of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis have thrown up many facts, including 75 per cent of the total 20 ‘crorepati’ ministers have criminal cases lodged against them.

According to a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a total of 15 ministers have declared criminal cases, including seven from the Shinde Group Shiv Sena and eight from the BJP, in the ‘gents only cabinet’.

Of these, 65 per cent — or 13 ministers — including seven from Shinde Group and six from the BJP have serious criminal cases filed against them.

Of the 20 crorepatis, BJP’s Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a reputed builder, is the richest among the ministers with assets worth Rs 441.65 crore and liabilities of Rs 283.36 crore.

Though a ‘crorepati’, the poorest in the lot is also BJP’s Sandipanrao A. Bhumre with assets of Rs 2.92 crore in his name.

The average assets of the ministers’ whose poll affidavits were analysed by ADR comes to Rs 47 crore — comprising the BJP’s Rs 58 crore and Shinde Group’s Rs 36 crore.

On the academic front, two ministers (or 10 per cent) have declared their educational track record as SSC pass, six (30 per cent) as HSC pass, 11 ministers (55 per cent) are higher qualified with degrees, and only one Dr. Suresh Khade of the BJP holds a doctorate from a university in Sri Lanka.

As far as the age group is concerned, 16 ministers (80 per cent) fall in the upper echelons aged between 51-70, and four (20 per cent) are between 41-50, said the ADR’s Maharashtra Election Watch, coordinated by Ajit Ranade, Sharad Kumar and Satish Khot.

CM Shinde carried out his much-awaited cabinet expansion on Tuesday, inducting 18 ministers, including three allegedly ‘tainted’. No women MLA could find a place in the cabinet and so could not the Independents and smaller parties.

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