The NCP has suspended the ‘janta darbar’ following rise in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra.
The janta darbar is a programme started by the NCP after the party came to power in Maharashtra.
Under this programme, it was mandatory for the minister to spend one day at the NCP headquarters. The day was reserved for interaction with people who flocked the head office with their problems on a number of subjects.
Except for Saturday and Sunday, it was held daily with two to three ministers in attendance at the party headquarters. An official statement issued said, “Janta Darbar is cancelled for sometime. The new date will be announced. The decision was taken due to spurt in Covid-19 cases.” During janta darbar, the office gets crowded. People from various districts come to Mumbai. So screening every individual medically is not possible, said sources from the NCP.
Earlier this week, state party president and water resources minister Jayant Patil and health minister Rajesh Tope tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Ten days ago, NCP’S home minister Anil Deshmukh also tested positive for the virus.
To date, several NCP ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, labour and excise minister Dilip Walse Patil, social justice minister Dhananjay Munde, housing minister Jitendra Awhad, cooperation minister Balasaheb Patil took treatment for Covid-19 and have recovered.
The concept of janta darbar was initiated to enhance the communication between ministers and the public at large. The NCP president Sharad Pawar had mooted the idea and made it compulsory for every minister to attend.
The party maintains a roster. Each minister has a fixed day in the week and if anybody skips, the minister has to write a letter explaining the reason and seek permission from the party president.