- The incidental rise to prominence of Uddhav Thackeray and his thoughtful use of it.
- Thackeray’s unrelenting attempts to flatten the Covid-19 curve.
- Thackeray’s positive attitude towards his opponents and obstacles.
A Visionary Politician
Uddhav Thackeray, who turned 61 on 27 July, was dubbed an “unexpected chief minister” and seen as a dynasty in politics in 2019. However, in the last year and a half, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister has emerged from the shadows of his magnetic father, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, and established his own identity as an astute politician.
Uddhav Thackeray has received accolades for dealing with the Covid situation better than certain other states, all the while leading a difficult coalition of three ideologically diverse parties without relinquishing power and trying to deal with the central government led by a party that has not reconciled with him after he abandoned their coalition to form a new alliance with their political opponents.
Governance In Covid
Uddhav Thackeray’s government had to face a major health crisis four months into his reign as chief minister. He surrounded himself with the right advisors and formed teams of health professionals despite having no administrative experience at any level. His handling of the epidemic in Maharashtra, India’s worst-affected state, has earned him praise, despite criticism for the high number of Covid-19 cases.
Thackeray, on the other hand, has made it clear that he is not only a ceremonial CM working on Pawar’s orders to keep the government together. Despite the pressure from alliances and opposition parties to loosen the restrictions which had been implemented to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, Thackeray is seen as circumspect in his outlook to further relaxations such as allowing the wider populace to use local trains in Mumbai, opening malls, multiplexes, and so on, regardless of the fact that several states have done so.
Opposition And Optimism
The opposition has chided the CM for operating from Varsha, the CM’s official residence. He has also been chastised for not visiting Mantralaya or making any other visits to assess the handling of the Covid-19. Uddhav Thackeray, however, has paid some visits to Pune and north Maharashtra to observe how the pandemic is being handled. He went to the Konkan region after the cyclone and flooding.
Food For Thought
Leaders like Uddhav Thackeray, who have overcome a slew of obstacles, are frequently exposed to increased scrutiny by political parties as they vie for power. Do you believe that such dedicated leaders deserve a deeper understanding from their constituents? Shouldn’t they also be provided support and the benefit of the doubt?
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