63 coronavirus positive cases have been reported in Maharashtra so far. (Representational)
Claiming that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was handling the coronavirus crisis well, "Saamana", the mouthpiece of his party Shiv Sena, hit out on Saturday at those flagging his lack of experience.
Mr Thackeray was working hard to eradicate the virus and people of the state would decide whether he was capable or not, the editorial in the daily said.
The newspaper's tirade came in response to BJP leader Niranjan Davkhare's tweet that the state needed the experienced (previous chief minister) Devendra Fadnavis and not Mr Thackeray who has no experience in the present situation.
Mr Thackeray had not held any government position before he became chief minister last November.
"The virus of split and rebellion is dead long ago. Uddhav Thackeray is on the field to make the state virus- free," the editorial said.
In a swipe at Davkhare, who quit the Nationalist Congress Party last year, the editorial said those who jumped on the BJP's bandwagon after spending whole life in the Congress or NCP have no right to make such comments.
"How differently would Fadnavis have handled the present situation? Would he have swallowed the virus or put the CBI or ED behind the virus and silence it?" it said.
Just as the Thackeray government killed the "virus of revenge created through ED and CBI investigations", it will tackle the coronavirus too, the editorial said.
When the entire state cabinet led by Thackeray was handling the situation, some people who recently joined the BJP started saying that Maharashtra needed Mr Fadnavis, it said, adding, "if these people are running "corona-campaign", one wonders to what level Fadnavis has reached".
"If he doesn''t quarantine such people, he will lose whatever little credibility he is left with," the Sena mouthpiece said.
Taking further potshots at Mr Fadnavis and the BJP leadership, the newspaper said the country had seen how the BJP leader handled the Bhima-Koregaon riots, Sangli floods and how the state''s economy was hit due to demonetization.
With "strong and experienced leaders" such as prime minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah at the helm, the national capital burnt due to violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act, while in Maharashtra the chief minister handled the situation well, the editorial said.
The number of coronavirus positive patients in Maharashtra increased to 63 on Saturday.