Another delegation seeks Fadnavis’s intervention; hoteliers to stage silent protests today
As retail traders and hoteliers across Maharashtra continue to oppose the State government restrictions, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that the lockdown was not against anyone but part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, and everyone would have to adhere to it.
“The government has no interest in closing down everything and jeopardise lives. We had been warning people for months. The way the number of patients is rising, the government facilities are likely to run out of space. These are testing times and I urge all to not speak the language of conflict and to not fall prey to the provocation by anyone,” Mr. Thackeray said at a meeting with representatives of trader associations.
The CM said that the government would ensure that no trader faced loss. “Such times tell who a friend is and who is a foe. We are together in this and our aim is to defeat the novel coronavirus. You are an enemy of the State, but together we must defeat the virus,” he said, reminding the associations of his several appeals in the last few months advising precaution and compliance with safety guidelines.
Mr. Thackeray’s appeal comes on a day when another delegation of retail traders met Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis to seek his intervention.
Mr. Fadnavis assured them support and said that he would take up these issues with the State government. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the BJP leader said, “The restrictions imposed by the government are unrealistic. If the government had held a discussion with all the stakeholders before making such a decision, it would have prevented the unrest.” He said that the Opposition expected to find a way out.
Hoteliers too have come together to form United Hospitality Forum of Maharashtra (UHFM) to protest the steps taken by the State to control the pandemic. The hotel associations are from Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander, Vasai, Palghar, Kalyan, Ambernath, Badlapur, Bhiwandi, Dombivali, Ratnagiri, Pune, Pimpri, Amravati and Aurangabad. UHFM will be organising silent protests at various restaurants across cities in Maharashtra on April 8.