The level of implementation of government schemes, central or state, was excellent – in urban as well as rural areas. Listing out those schemes will only lengthen the answer, hence avoided. But the proof of pudding was clearly felt in the Lok Sabha elections. Aadhaar linked bank accounts further helped curb leakages (they were on a massive scale) and warmed the hearts of people. Cut down on political and administrative corruption too.
One impressive thing that I have noticed in the administration of DF is the ability to prioritise. A state saddled with legacy problems needed such project management where more important problems were handled first, what was picked up was followed with great effort and nowhere a lack of focus was noticed.
Personally, I am unhappy with the Maratha reservation move. It may have political brownie points to score but is definitely immoral. I love reading history and know that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj did not acquire his kingdom with the help of reservation. He and his progeny fought every inch of the way. It pities that people who call and pride themselves as Marathas seek reservation. But DF government was definitely immoral here.
Maharashtra has very poor record of road accident fatalities. There is no effort to even ascertain the causes of such accidents. Accident research is conspicuous by absence. No efforts are taken for educating the children in road rules and manners. Efforts to reach the CM for these areas have met with bureaucratic hurdles. It is a pity that a young and energetic CM of India and the very effective surface transport minister coming from the state have shown such apathy to these important points originating from their own states.
Overall, performance of Devendra Fadnavis government is appreciated by many and rates him as one of the best CMs of India today. When he became Maharashtra chief minister in 2014 at the age of 44, Fadnavis was the youngest person to occupy the state’s top job after Sharad Pawar (who was just 38 when he became CM in 1978). Now the speculation comes on who would be the deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, CM is going to be the same and there is no doubt.
For Shiv Sena, there will be no vacancy on the 6th floor of Mantralaya, the Maharashtra chief minister’s office in upscale South Mumbai, if the BJP leads its alliance back to power on October 24. Maharashtra politics have changed and so has the hierarchy in the saffron alliance. With a perceptible shift in its position, the BJP is now firmly in the driver’s seat, having relegated its ally Sena to play second fiddle in the ensuing assembly polls—a scenario few political pundits would have placed their wagers on five years ago. And by the looks of it, Devendra Fadnavis looks well on course for his second consecutive term in office. Back in 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP’s national president Amit Shah reposed trust in Fadnavis—only the second Brahmin leader since Shiv Sena’s Manohar Joshi to become the CM—there was no dearth of skeptics wondering whether the 44-year-old leader from Nagpur had it in him whatever it takes to govern the richest state, dominated by powerful Maratha satraps over the years. Five years on, Fadnavis has tightened his grip on the party and his deft handling of the Maratha reservation issue, among other things, appears to have further endeared him to the central leadership.
As the state goes to the polls on October 21, a weakened opposition has failed to build any anti-incumbency narrative against Fadnavis’s regime while his own party rivals have fallen by the wayside. The Sena—once the big brother in the alliance—has been forced to play the secondary role despite harbouring ambitions to change the coalition’s power equation back to its original factory settings. Fadnavis, in the fray for his fifth term from Nagpur South West, has doubtless emerged as the undisputed leader of the BJP, which is contesting 164 out of the 288 seats along with a few smaller allies. Shiv Sena is left with only 124 seats in its kitty after weeks of intense seat-sharing negotiations with the BJP for a 50:50 formula bore no fruit. For the record, the BJP and the Shiv Sena had won 122 and 63 seats respectively after contesting the 2014 state polls separately. The BJP bosses apparently consider Fadnavis to be the best bet for the party. A leader with a clean image, he has consistently provided good governance to Maharashtra in the past five years, says Bhupender Yadav, the party’s national general secretary and in-charge of the Maharashtra elections. Hardly surprising then that the BJP sounds more than optimistic that Fadnavis will be rewarded by the electorate and sworn in again as the CM—the first in the state to have completed his full term since Congress’s Vasantrao Naik between 1963 and 1975. Political analysts believe that a second term will not only help Fadnavis grow in stature but also force Shiv Sena to keep its chief ministerial ambitions in abeyance for now, notwithstanding party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s promise to his late father and party founder Balasaheb.
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