Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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It’s time Uddhav Thackeray quits his ‘rollout rollback’ theatre of absurd in Maharashtra

The cracks in Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition in Maharashtra become visible each time Sharad Pawar visits Matoshree with some administrative advice for Thackeray.

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The Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra has, time and again, shown how it’s an unabashed embodiment of a disorganised, whimsical, clumsy, fickle, and a rollout-rollback administration, whose sole objective is to remain in power at the expense of people’s sufferings. The fickleness is, by all means, the result of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s stubborn aloofness, or quite simply, his inability to indulge in administrative details.

Also read: As NCP-Sena rift grows, Sanjay Raut conducts ‘Saamana-style’ Sharad Pawar interview

Testing the chaos theory

Consider this: barely three days after an order was issued, the transfer of 10 DCPs in Mumbai Police was revoked at the behest of the chief minister. It looks like a turf war between the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which holds the home portfolio. There are also reports of Shiv Sena’s murky internal politics at play, suggesting that CM Thackeray was under pressure by local leaders of the Shiv Sena to ensure that plum postings went to state police service officers, and not to those belonging to other carders. In the end, it required the 79-year-old NCP chief, Sharad Pawar, to make one more trip to Matoshree to iron out the differences within the coalition.

Whatever be the reasons for the rollback of the internal reshuffle in the police department, it proves once again that governance was never a priority for the Thackeray government; petty tug-of-wars are what dictate the CM’s agenda at a time when the state is battling the coronavirus onslaught.

This rollout-rollback politics has been a pattern in Maharashtra throughout the Covid crisis, only aggravating public suffering.

In June end, the Mumbai Police imposed a ‘travel diktat’, restricting people’s movement beyond 2 km from their homes, except for employment or medical emergencies. It was rather rich for the government to impose such a move during Unlock 1, considering the shambolic lockdown it had presided earlier. The state government’s order resulted in harassment of the people. Nearly 6,000 vehicles were impounded in just two days, and the rule caused massive traffic snarls across Mumbai. Yet again, it took Sharad Pawar to drill reason into the CM, before the rule was tweaked.

Another bizarre development that occurred in Thackeray’s theatre of the absurd was the state government giving a go-ahead for purchase of six luxury cars costing Rs 1.37 crore, without any apparent urgency. This, when the state government has admittedly borrowed money to pay salaries to its employees.

Also read: IPS transfer row in Mumbai Police hints at fresh cracks in Shiv Sena-NCP ties

Allies in trouble

Uddhav Thackeray is a temperamental politician. The BJP realised this after the election result last October when he stopped taking calls from former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, thus killing a beautiful partnership which Bal Thackeray and Pramod Mahajan had engendered in the late 1980s.

Now, the Congress and the NCP have the same grouse against Uddhav Thackeray – he is unapproachable. Thackeray is obsessed with his home, doesn’t go to the office and doesn’t believe in talking to allies before taking important decisions.

The Shiv Sena attacked the Congress for criticising the coalition government in its mouthpiece Saamana, comparing the Congress with an old cot that makes unnecessary noise. The Congress has since retreated into temporary silence, perhaps seething in anger and waiting for the right moment to avenge the insult.

However, the NCP has been more aggressive in showing the Shiv Sena its place. On 4 July, five Shiv Sena corporators joined the NCP in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar in Ahmednagar district. That the Shiv Sena arm-twisted the NCP and ensured the return of these corporators, is just another chapter in this endless saga of internal divisions in the coalition. It remains to be seen how Ajit Pawar responds to the latest insult.

It is an open secret in the power circles of Mumbai that Ajit Pawar finds it difficult to accept the non-performing Thackeray as his leader. Each time Ajit Pawar has become restless, the senior Pawar has prevailed upon him. But the escalated turf war between the Shiv Sena and NCP clearly suggests that things are now getting out of hand.

With such open animosity between the three parties, it takes an unusual thick skin to shrug off each other’s humiliation and pretend ‘all is well’. But then, with his insatiable greed for power and limited abilities, Uddhav Thackeray doesn’t have an alternative.

Also read: Ajoy Mehta — Maharashtra IAS officer Congress can’t stand & Uddhav can’t do without

The ex-CM factor

In the face of an abject governance deficit that Maharashtra is witnessing right now, it is obvious for the people to draw comparisons with the hands-on approach of Thackeray’s predecessor Devendra Fadnavis. Rising to the occasion, Fadnavis has travelled the state extensively over the last few weeks, reaching out to the people who have been suffering due to the indifference of the state government. Within five days of Cyclone Nisarga’s landfall, Fadnavis travelled to the worst-affected areas of Konkan, inspected the damage and met the people at relief camps. Soon after, he submitted a detailed note to the CM, highlighting the need for more aid. CM Thackeray, for his part, never bothered to visit the affected areas.

One of the biggest failings of Maharashtra’s Covid war has been the gross mis-management of hospitals. Videos have emerged showing corpses lying alongside patients in the wards of KEM Hospital and Sion Hospital in Mumbai. The CM never bothered to visit any hospital or meet medical professionals. The entire focus of the state government was on the ill-conceived creation of jumbo quarantine centres, many of which remained unoccupied.

The real challenge, on the other hand, was the absence of oxygen concentrators and ICU beds, which led to a high casualty until a month ago. The state government has followed an outsourced model — making bureaucrats responsible for everything, without bothering to get involved and look into the details.

Contrast Thackeray’s casual stay-at-home style with the proactive, hands-on approach of Fadnavis. The former CM has travelled to hospitals and quarantine centres across Maharashtra, be it Pune, Amravati or Konkan. In all these places, he has held extensive meetings with government officials to understand their difficulties and offered his suggestions. He has personally inspected quarantine centres in Maharashtra’s interior areas, often putting his own health at risk.

Also read: ‘Our culture is we…won’t go back on words’ — CM Uddhav taunts BJP on Sena foundation day

Mutual incompatibility

Maha Vikas Aghadi’s alliance partners are disgruntled by their mutual incompatibility and the realisation that they don’t have a future together. Many in the NCP regret not going with the BJP after the assembly election last year. Some leaders in Shiv Sena and Congress too feel that their ppolitical careers have been jeopardised by this unnatural, forced alliance, and shudder to face the voters again.

As far as the BJP is concerned, the party is ready for fresh elections anytime. By virtue of the BJP’s performance in the previous government, the party retained 70 per cent of the seats it contested in the 2019 assembly election. The Thackeray-led coalition government’s non-performance and its repeated betrayal of the people will ensure the BJP’s return to power on its own in the next election.

The writing on the wall is clear and legible. Uddhav Thackeray must not make Maharashtra suffer for his selfish gains.

Tuhin Sinha @tuhins is a writer and a national media panelist of the BJP. Views are personal.

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  1. Rubin Sinha is a BJP stooge… obviously he’s going to badmouth and drive a wedge in the Maharashtra government. As a matter of fact what was fadnavis doing in his tenure? Ask that first.

  2. U bhakt writer why don’t u have guts to write on bjp I guess ur papa Amit shah and chacha fadnavis would put a stick from behind (u know what I say) stop crying and attacking like coward and face the truth boldly that Sharad pawar and Ajit pawar wiped off bjp and if mva perform better in power then there’s no chance bjp will return even in 2024 in maharashtra vidhan Sabha better accept the fact that Ajit pawar sharad pawar put a hand in mouth and ass and took out the the bread loaf of cm from fadnavis this isn’t acceptable to bjp fadnavis and genda (Amit shah)

  3. Haha…..just didn’t needed to read the entire crap…..just 2-3 lines and one can understand the propaganda of this BJP author or so called journalist. How blatant you can be in taking sides and totally malignant of others? Frankly, it doesn’t shock me anymore..

  4. The coalition in Maharashtra is itself unethical and the government is manipulative and untrustworthy. The people of Maharashtra had clearly given the mandate to BJP – Shivsena alliance but for personal gains , Uddhav Thackeray broke it. After Cyclone Nisarga, it became clear that the government itself had no concern for the people just by the fact that they were going to give Rs. 40 per coconut tree and Rs. 20 per a betelnut tree.

  5. The article is BJPs viewpoint based on biased assessment of Uddhav Thackeray’s adminstration. Former CM Fadnavis was no better than him. Given the present situation and dealing with it is not that easy specially where three major party in the state us involved and to worsen it is the BJP party with zero ethics and morality in politics waiting like wolf to grab power by hook or crook. In all this it is the people who suffer and deservedly for choosing government for their selfish attitude than in the national interest and for trusting the vendetta baised media which has lost it’s credibility on free and fair reporting. Karma is at play to punish all of them. Hope all people realise before it is too late and may have to pay a heavy price for protecting the integrity and sovereignity of our country.

  6. No need to read the whole crap. I just scrolled down to see the author’s true identity. No surprise to see that he is aligned to BJP who themselves have failed as a unit in the country.
    I hope he advises Mr. Modi as well to travel to Maharashtra on ground if they are so concerned.
    We in Maharashtra are happy with the way Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has performed.

  7. Stop giving your suggestions to Maharashtra government. Check what the PM is doing at the centre,…Telling the people to taali and thali bajao, diye and mombatti jalao to fight corona. The economy of the country is down to it bottom and BJP is ready with money to take over opposition state governments. What is the status of PM Cares, tell them to give a record of accounts of PM Cares. The Maharashtra government doesn’t need your suggestions, it will be better you give your suggestions to the bunch of jokers sitting at the centre.

  8. Guys who are more in the street thugs mould are now in the ruling forefront ! What else can be expected from such men ?
    Bal Thackeray knew his limitations and shrewdly alligned with seasoned politicians like Advani, Pramod Mahajan. But, Udhav Thackeray is surrounded by half-baked stooges like Sanjay Raut, who are just alley cats..
    With the convid19 raging across the state, the other two parties are deliberately staying away from limelight and let Udhav Thackeray be painted black. Sad show..

  9. The true reason Shivsena got these many seats is respect n love for Balasaheb Thackeray and not his fool son. There is a tremendous difference between uddhav and Fadnavis govt. Fadnavis one was a first truely performing govt in history of Maharashtra. And state is in very much need of Fadnavis now. God must have some good plans in near future.

  10. “Unmature but still Overconfident” is what uddhav thackeray is. He was never behaved as a responsible one even when he was BJP and now also he is doing the same with NCP and Congress. There is no respect for him in public. The true reason Shivsena got these many seats is respect n love for Balasaheb Thackeray and not his fool son. There is a tremendous difference between uddhav and Fadnavis govt. Fadnavis one was a first truely performing govt in history of Maharashtra. And state is in very much need of Fadnavis now. God must have some good plans in near future.

  11. The print gives this entire story and then somewhere in the end mentions that this writer is a BJP media panelist. Shouldn’t this be told in bold letters at the beginning of the article.
    @thePrint, you really can’t do unbiased Journalism can you?

  12. Where is ashok? His disgruntled comments on Indo-China comments were there on some article. Nothing here???

  13. Your journalist get paid really well. I know yaar BJP ka package mast hai bada wala. I challenge you to show me one article which is against BJP.

  14. The people of Maharashtra got to say Uddhav being CM and his performance.Shiva sena is only good for Gunda gardi and beating people,blackening their faces.They are not good for governance issues.

  15. The article is totally biased one . The ground reality is the popularity of Uddhav Thackrey as a CM is very high right now . The fact that he is new to this role is making things look little quirky sometimes . And talking about Sharad Pawar’s visit to Matoshree – to anyone can visit Matoshree . Its door are open for everyone and sharad pawar being the guardian of this government, will do anything in his power to keep things in order . I never thought I will ever say this but I am thinking that North Indians has serious problems with Uddhav being a CM . Its high time that they should accept it . This is what people of Maharashtra truly wanted . Someone who doesn’t bow down before Delhi , who doesn’t take orders from those sitting in Delhi .

  16. Maha is the only state coming up with true figures. Maha 10 lakh tests, more than all the BJP states combined. BJP states are playing politics with figures.

  17. Seems the Tiger’s son is a cat. Wondering, in future, what would the cat’s son be? a rabbit. Nepotism can never produce leader’s. Shiva sena will soon go down the RJD way. RIP

  18. I think it’s time to own up the mistake of aligning with Ajit pawar and join hands with SHIVSENA. Tuhin you must realise that BJP N SHIVSENA being together is what voters want and if ambitions of some BJP leaders must be curtailed it should be done . SHIVSENA AND BJP must share power equally that includes chief minister post.

  19. The 2 km rule is a good idea. It was implemented in Hyderabad too.

    But the problem with Indians is that they think rules are not for them and implementation becomes difficult.

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