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Thursday,20-January-2022

Maharashtra

Fresh curbs, lockdown will depend on oxygen demands: Maharashtra government

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Liquid-Medical-Oxygen

As Maharashtra grapples with a renewed surge in Covid-19 cases, the state government on Wednesday clarified that fresh curbs or lockdown-like measures would be considered only if the demands for liquid medical oxygen (LMO) crosses 700 tonnes daily.

The fresh spike has raised apprehensions of more restrictions, especially with major festivals like the 10-day Ganeshotsav and Navratri round the corner.

An official said that during the second wave which peaked in April-May 2021, the state LMO production of around 1,200 tonnes daily has now been significantly increased to around 1,700 tonnes.

Currently, the state is reporting a LMO demand of over 200 tonnes for Covid patients and 150 tonnes for other patients, but during the expected third wave, the LMO requirements could shoot up drastically.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is reviewing the daily LMO demand-supply on a regular basis with the ongoing hike in cases but has refrained from imposing new restrictions so far.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that as per a Central report, the state could report 6 million cases in the anticipated third wave and the government is making all preparations to tackle it.

“Currently we have a capacity of around 1,500 tonnes of LMO, and with the commissioning of 250 out of 450 PSA plants, we target a capacity of up to 2,000 tonnes daily. However, if the Centre’s estimates on the third wave prove true, then we shall need more oxygen,” Tope said.

However, he hinted that if the daily LMO demands shoot beyond 700 tonnes, the government could consider new curbs or lockdown style measures.

Tope’s cautionary came a day after the state Energy Minister, Dr Nitin Raut and Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar warned that the third wave has already started in the state capital and second capital, Mumbai and Nagpur, respectively.

Thackeray, who is closely monitoring the Covid situation in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and other hotspots that were badly affected in the first and second waves, is expected to take the final call on tightening up measures, if necessary.

Maharashtra

No MVA in Goa; Shiv Sena, NCP to go without Congress

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The hope of stitching an MVA like alliance in Goa has not taken off as Congress is unwilling to ally with the Shiv Sena and NCP. The three parties have formed Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra but in Goa the Congress is already in alliance with Goa Forward Party.

The Congress is not willing to concede more seats to the allies and sources say it thinks that the NCP and the Shiv Sena in the fray will split BJP votes.

Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP said, “NCP and Shiv Sena tried to form an MVA like alliance in Goa but did not get positive response from the Congress.”

The Shiv Sena leader in the past had met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for the same but things did not work out as Congress assessment is that people will vote for a change. NCP leader Praful Patel has said that his party will contest with Shiv Sena in the state.

The Congress had alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Trinamool Congress were contesting in Goa to split the opposition vote and help the BJP.

Congress Senior observer of Goa, P. Chidambaram said the people are voting either for the BJP or for a regime change.

Chidambaram in a statement said, “My assessment that the AAP (and the TMC) will only fracture the non-BJP vote in Goa has been confirmed by Mr Arvind Kejriwal. The contest in Goa is between Congress and BJP”.

“Those who want a regime change (after 10 years of misrule) will vote for the Congress. Those who want the regime to continue will vote for the BJP. The choice before the voter in Goa is stark and clear. Do you want a regime change or not? I appeal to the voters of Goa to vote for a regime change and vote Congress,” he added.

The Congress is facing a tough battle in Goa while trying to be ahead of the BJP as the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party are spoiling the grand old party’s game in the state.

The Congress is trying to put up a strong face and has denied any alliance talks with the Trinamool despite speculations in the political circles. Jittered by the Congress stance, the Trinamool has launched an offensive against the Congress.

“The Trinamool has been saying that they are open to alliances, but Congress is not willing to accept and behaving like an emperor,” Trinamool leader Mahua Moitra said, adding: “Need of hour in Goa is to defeat BJP – no one should be on their high horse. AITC will not, repeat not, shy away from walking the last mile.”

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Maharashtra

Devendra Fadnavis demands action over Nana Patole remarks on Modi

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The BJP will not keep quiet over Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole’s alleged controversial remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Fadnavis also slammed the Maharashtra government for not filing an FIR over Patole’s comments, a video of which had gone viral on Monday.

“Someone called the Maharashtra CM’s wife Rabri devi and an FIR was filed. And here a person who calls himself a leader, threatens to kill the PM and there is no FIR (First Information Report) against him in Maharashtra. This is wrong. We will not keep quiet,” Fadnavis said.

In the video in Bhandara district in Maharashtra, Patole is allegedly heard saying he could beat up and badmouth Modi.

Patole later clarified that he was not referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but a local goon with a similar surname.

Fadnavis, however, hinted at Congress conspiracy against the Prime Minister.

“I feel it is a Congress policy. In Punjab, the security of the PM is compromised and in Maharashtra the president says we will beat the PM. Through this, one can know what he (Patole) really feels about the PM. I feel it is Congress policy and we demand that an FIR and legal action should be taken against Nana Patole because he has spoken about beating the Prime Minister,” Fadnavis said.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra Veteran PWP leader Prof N.D. Patil dies at 93

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Veteran political leader of Peasants & Workers Party (PWP), an ex-cabinet minister and a four-time legislator, Prof Narayan Dnyandeo Patil passed away following a brief illness, party leaders said here on Monday.

Battling from a recent brain haemorrhage, he breathed his last at a private hospital here early on Monday, aged 93.

Earlier, the fiery leader – who spent over seven decades in public life – was infected by Covid-19 and had recovered from it despite his advanced age.

He dedicated his life to the cause of farmers, peasants, mill-workers, casual labourers, the deprived and downtrodden in society and served as Maharashtra Member of Legislative Council for four terms, and served as a minister from 1978-1990.

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