Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray, the new chief minister of Maharashtra, is a greenhorn in politics, but not much is known about his personal life or his interests.
He is known to be a reserved man, and his wife, Rashmi, is his adviser — even on political matters.
ThePrint spoke to two of Uddhav’s close aides to know aspects of his life not many know about. Here is a list of 5 such facts about the new CM.
A new home opposite Matoshree
Uddhav is building a new home right across Matoshree, his present residence, in Bandra in an area spread over nearly 10,000 square feet.
The new house is a sprawling eight-storey building, which will have three triplex apartments. In each triplex, the living room is designed to have a height equivalent to two floors. Work on the building is ongoing.
In 2017, Thackeray’s new home hit a roadblock after the Shiv Sena-run Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation turned down his permission to utilise transferable development rights (TDR) for additional construction in the building.
But, then-chief minister Devendra Fadnavis finally granted the permission when the matter was referred to him.
Love for nature
Uddhav is a nature lover. He often charters the helicopter of one of his friends and takes aerial photographs of forts and nature. These photographs are on display at Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda.
He has also published two coffee table books — Maharashtra Desha (2010) on the various aspects of the state and Pahava Vittal (2011) on the Pandharpur yatra, an annual pilgrimage undertaken by ‘warkaris’, the worshippers of Lord Vittal.
Avid watcher of Discovery, Animal Planet
Uddhav prefers to de-stress by watching Discovery and Animal Planet channels.
His love for animals is also a lesser-known fact about him. Between 1995 and 1999, when the Shiv Sena-BJP government was in power, Uddhav had launched a scheme to support and help the forest guards. He would often travel to the forests and meet them to understand their problems. He had even set up Jopasana Trust and distributed raincoats, torches and gumboots among the guards.
Has an elephant’s memory
Those who know Uddhav point out that he has an elephant’s memory. He is not magnanimous in forgiving his critics. He cuts them off completely, said a close aide.
Severing ties with cousin Raj Thackeray after he walked out of the Shiv Sena holds proof of that fact.
Uddhav has always shunned spotlight as it makes him insecure, said another aide. He weighs the cons more than the pros, and avoids confrontations as he isn’t comfortable with it, added the aide.
Enjoys a slow-placed life
The Shiv Sena chief is not a keen road-traveller, and, therefore, all his work-related meetings are held at Matoshree, which has a Z-plus security cover.
He enjoys a relaxed and slow-paced lifestyle, which will now clash with his life as the chief minister, said the first aide.
Uddhav began his first day at the Mantralaya after formally taking charge Friday afternoon.