Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government's decision to postpone the MPSC exams came under fire from the opposition as well as leaders of the ruling alliance.
Maharashtra Public Service Commission on Thursday (March 11) postponed the preliminary examination for government jobs scheduled for March 14 in view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the state.
The Relief and Rehabilitation Department announced the decision in a circular. Earlier the examination was to take place in April last year but was delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan questioned the wisdom of the decision.
Speaking to reporters in Pune, he said, "If the government can permit weddings, hold budget session and conduct exams for the health department, then it is wrong to cancel the MPSC examination."
It was an injustice to the candidates, the former chief minister said, adding, "How much longer they should prepare for MPSC? If the government can allow other events, it should not apply a different yardstick for MPSC."
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis demanded that the decision be reversed.
"The exams have been pushed forward already and it would result in the loss of opportunity for many students who invest their best years in preparation," he tweeted.
Rohit Pawar, NCP MLA and grandson of party chief Sharad Pawar, tweeted that the examination can be conducted in a fair and safe manner.
Meanwhile, a large number of students took to the streets in many cities in the state and created a ruckus to protest against the government's move. The protests were seen in Pune, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad and Jalgaon. They demanded the exams not be cancelled.
The protests happened in Navi Peth, Pune and at Sakkardara Chowk in Nagpur. In Kolhapur too, the students created a ruckus and demanded the government to reconsider the decision to postpone the exam.
A large number of students crowded the Court Chowk in Jalgaon, disrupting the movement of vehicles. Protests were also carried out at Jyotiba Phule Chowk in Aurangabad.