Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut (File image: PTI)
A complete lockdown will "devastate" the economy of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut conveyed to his party supremo and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, according to reports on March 29.
Raut claimed that he had asked Thackeray to impose targeted restrictions rather than issuing complete stay-at-home orders.
The goal is to break the chain of infections which can be achieved if overcrowding is prevented at markets and public places, he said.
"A complete lockdown will hit the economy of the state. The poor will suffer again. Industries, shopkeepers, traders and the working class will be hit hard," The Indian Express quoted Raut as saying.
The move will not only hit the common people but also the government as collection of taxes would be adversely affected, he added.
The Maharashtra unit of the BJP has also opposed the idea of again imposing a lockdown to control the surge of COVID-19 cases.
Instead of moving into a full lockdown, the government should ramp up testing, BJP state president Chandrakant Patil said.
"If you really want to impose lockdown, announce a package and give Rs 5,000 per month to every worker from the unorganised sector," news agency PTI quoted Patil as saying.
The BJP's remarks came a day after Thackeray said he has asked officials to prepare for a lockdown-like restrictions as the COVID-19 safety norms are not being followed in the state.
Maharashtra, which has been reporting a record-high number of cases over the past few days, accounts for over 60 percent of the total active cases in India.
The state's active caseload stands at 3.25 lakh. As per the last update issued by the health department on March 28, a total of 40,414 new infections were reported in the preceding 24 hours. The numbers were the highest for a single day since the outbreak of coronavirus last year. The corresponding period also witnessed 108 fatalities due to the contagious disease.