The Shiv Sena on April 22 questioned the basis on which Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested states to look at lockdown as the last resort, and said despite the existing restrictions the COVID-19 cases are not coming down.
A day after Modi addressed the nation, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday imposed several new lockdown-like restrictions, including a ban on inter-city and inter-district travel, and allowed only those working in the essential services to travel in local trains in Mumbai.
Referring to Modi's suggestion made on Tuesday that lockdowns should be the "last resort", an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said focus should be on action rather than delivering speeches.
"Several ministers in Maharashtra have suggested that the state be put under complete lockdown for at least 15 days.
CM Uddhav Thackeray will take a decision on this. But, on what basis did the PM advise to avoid a lockdown?" it asked.
The editorial said the Maharashtra board's Class 10 exams have been cancelled and the central government has also scrapped the CBSE Class 10 exams.
The situation in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka "has gone out of control", it claimed, adding that the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has recommended a two-week lockdown in Gujarat.
"The situation is not improving despite strict curbs in Maharashtra," the Marathi daily said.
It was felt that the prime minister will advise citizens on how to face such a situation, the editorial said.
The economy is devastated and those who survive the pandemic will "die of suffocation under the crumbling economy", it claimed.
It said the PM admitted that the COVID-19 situation has worsened in the country, but stopped short of saying what should be done to end the crisis.
He says the COVID-19 crisis needs to be tackled unitedly, but his concept of "unity" doesn't involve the opposition parties, the Marathi daily said.
"If the prime minister had stopped his West Bengal poll rallies on time, the spread of COVID-19 could have been checked," the Marathi publication said.
"Lakhs of people from different parts of the country who were in West Bengal have spread the virus in their respective states. The country has got only coronavirus from the Kumbh mela and political melas," the editorial claimed.
Political leaders need to exercise self-restraint and only then they get the moral right to preach the people, it said.
Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 67,468 fresh coronavirus cases, taking its tally beyond the 40-lakh mark, while 568 more patients succumbed to the infection, as per the state health department.