In a bizarre claim, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said in his weekly column in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' that 'Namaste Trump' event held in Ahmedabad to welcome US President Donald Trump in February was responsible for the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 in Gujarat, Mumbai and Delhi. It is to be noted that some delegates of President Trump had visited these cities during the US president's visit.
Raut also slammed the Centre for implementing the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown without any planning and now putting the responsibility of lifting the curbs on states.
"It can't be denied that the spread of coronavirus in Gujarat was because of the massive public gathering held to welcome US President Donald Trump. Some of the delegates, who accompanied Trump, also visited Mumbai, Delhi, which led to the spread of the virus," said the Shiv Sena MP.
It may be recalled that President Trump along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken part in a road-show in Ahmedabad on February 24. The event was attended by thousands of people. After the road-show, both PM Modi and President Trump had addressed a gathering of over one lakh people at Motera cricket stadium.
Raut also mentioned in its editorial that any attempt to topple the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government in Maharashtra and impose President's rule in the state citing the government's failute to check the spread of coronavirus in the state would be suicidal.
"The state had witnessed how President's rule was imposed and lifted as per will six months ago. If the handling of coronavirus cases is the basis of imposing President's rule, then it should be done in at least 17 states, including the BJP-ruled ones. Even the central government has failed to curb the pandemic as it had no planning to fight the virus. The lockdown was imposed without any planning and now without any plan, the responsibility of lifting it has been left to the states. This chaos will further worsen the crisis," noted Raut.
The Shiv Sena leader also praised Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for presenting an excellent analysis of how the lockdown has failed. "It is shocking that people can indulge in politics by demanding President's rule in Maharashtra for the rise in the coronavirus cases," it said.