Taking a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi amidst the pandemic which shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the PM had expressed confidence that the battle against Coronavirus would be won in 21 days, but it has been over 100 days and the crisis still persists.

Shiv Sena, in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said that the fight against COVID-19 is more difficult than the war of Mahabharata and added that the battle against the pandemic will continue till 2021 as the disease vaccine won’t be available before that.

It also expressed concern over India reporting the third highest Coronavirus cases in the world.

It is unfortunate and serious for the country, which is dreaming to become a financial superpower, to report over 25,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, the Shiv Sena said.

With 22,252 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s coronavirus tally reached 7,19,665 on Tuesday. This includes 4,39,947 recovered cases and 2,59,557 active cases of the virus. The death toll due to the virus has climbed to 20,160.

India is now the third worst-affected country after the United States which has 2,935,712 cases and Brazil which has reported 1,623,284 cases of infection according to Johns Hopkins University tracker.

We left Russia behind in terms of the number of cases. We will attain the number one slot in this unfortunate area if the number of cases continue to go up,” the Saamana article said.

“The war of Mahabharata lasted for 18 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exuded confidence (in March) that we will win this battle against COVID-19 in 21 days. But it has been over 100 days and the Coronavirus still persists and those fighting it have become tired,” the Shiv Sena claimed.

“The coronavirus will be there and (we) need to live with it…the vaccine for coronavirus will not be available before 2021…that means (we) will have to live with coronavirus at least till then, it said.

Without naming anyone or any party, the Shiv Sena said questions are being raised as to for how many days the lockdown will continue.

But when you open the door (ease restrictions), the “messengers (threat) of coronavirus” are right out there, the Marathi publication said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has relaxed lockdown restrictions to some extent, but the threat is still not over, the Sena said.

It said the COVID-19 must be fought even though the industries, economy and lifestyle have been hit hard by the disease.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first public engagement after the announcement of a nationwide lockdown on March 24, had invoked the Mahabharata war to state that India’s battle against Coronavirus will continue for 21 days.

“Mahabharat war was won in 18 days, this war which the whole country is fighting against COVID-19 will take 21 days,” he said during an interaction with the citizens of Varanasi via video conferencing.

“Our aim is to win this war in 21 days,” the PM said defending the three-week lockdown.

On March 24, PM Modi announced a “total lockdown” across the country, asking people to “forget about stepping out of their homes” for the next three weeks.

He invoked the epic Ramayana when he said, “Forget about leaving home in the next 21 days. If you cross the Lakshman Rekha, you will invite the virus home.”

However, the lockdown got extended till June 8 and the country is currently in the unlock phase with businesses and offices resuming operations.