A day after a Bharatiya Janata Party MP demanded President's rule in Maharashtra, leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) on Tuesday accused the opposition party of trying to destablise the state government.
The BJP, on the other hand, denied that it wanted President's rule, but said the state government was not doing enough to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane on Monday met governor B S Koshyari and demanded President's rule, accusing the Uddahv Thackeray-led government of failing to bring the pandemic situation under control.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut hit back on Tuesday, saying it was the neighbouring BJP-ruled Gujarat that needed President's rule.
"If you go by the Gujarat high court's strictures about tackling of COVID-19 crisis, that state's performance is worse compared to Maharashtra's.
"If President's rule is to be imposed, the Centre should start with Gujarat," Raut said, while asserting that the Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra was stable.
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar distanced his party from Rane's view.
"The situation in Maharashtra is grim, but it does not qualify for President's rule. We feel the state government is not serious enough about tackling the situation," the former state minister said.
Maharashtra has enough resources but the state government is 'not making enough efforts', he alleged.
Nationalist Congress Party leader and minorities affairs minister Nawab Malik accused the BJP of spreading rumours that President's rule will be imposed in Maharashtra.
The state government was strictly adhering to the Centre's guidelines on combating COVID-19, he said.
Congress leader and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said the state BJP leaders were trying to destabilise the government, but there was no reason to worry about its stability.
"BJP leaders in the state are greedy for power. They cannot think of helping the government in the current situation. They are trying to destabilise the government," Thorat told reporters.
As Maharashtra has recorded over 52,000 coronavirus cases, the highest in the country, the BJP has been questioning the MVA government's capability to handle the crisis.