For the time being, I shall give Uddhav Thackeray good marks because as a new ruler (first time minister and that too a CM from 28th Nov 2019), his introduction to administration has begun with a big crisis, and because of his freshness and compassion, he has been able to perform fairly well. No CM is perfect and he is also not. Whatever is happening in Maharashtra is happening across the globe, as the pandemic is not invited by Uddhav, its global catastrophe. He is already working hard to save the state from every calamity be it cyclone or COVID-19.
This has been just nine months since Uddhav Thackeray took over as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, he might not have come to this position because of his admirative skills or any virtues as a politician. As it is the first time that the Thackrey family took part in active politics. Those who are criticizing him, are actually licking their wounds that they could not grab power with his help. He is unnecessarily judged very early and came under attack since he has taken oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra. When he was in alliance with BJP and when he broke the alliance, both the times he gave sleepless nights to various leaders. But this time they could not deal with Uddhav because he kept them out of rule.
He might not have contested elections or held any portfolios as a political leader, but he lived with politics under the guidance and shadows of his father late Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb and Udhav Thackeray are very close to the people of Maharashtra, they know Maharashtra’s needs and its public. They are the grass root level leaders and loved by the people of Maharashtra. Most of the people who are criticizing him are either non-Maharashtrians sitting at home watching biased news channels and reading fake news on WhatsApp forwards and commenting about his leadership on Social Media. Or they are those IT cell members who are assigned to criticize him because he has crushed the ego of those people who were calming to return to power. People who live in Maharashtra know him very well and I am one of them, it’s not only about Marathi people but every Maharashtrian and others who have lived here for long have some soft corner for them. As far as Maha Vikas Aghadi is concerned, it is a lethal combination in political plethora. Congress and NCP have experience because they ruled the state for the longest time, on the other hand, Shiv Sena has the manpower and dedicated voters. Above all, they have Sharad Pawar to guide and bind them. BJP on its own, without any alliance or support, can never come to power in Maharashtra.
When BJP’s attacks could not make much difference, they threw him a bait through a rabble-rousing TV host. This isn’t an ordinary game. Who wins this round will have deep, longstanding consequences on the future of the Shiv Sena-led coalition government in Maharashtra? Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami is daring the Uddhav Thackeray government: do you have the guts to take me on? This dare has to be seen in the context of the BJP’s goals in the state. As we all know Arnab is nothing but a mouthpiece of BJP and he takes every liberty to attack and humiliate BJP opponents. For all its so-called Chanakyaniti, the BJP was overpowered in the post-election games in Maharashtra. Despite being the single largest party, and doing everything it could, including waking up the President of India at 5 am, it lost the plot to Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress. Uddhav Thackeray became chief minister. Not having a BJP CM in any state is intolerable to home minister Amit Shah. The embarrassment of losing Maharashtra to a rag-tag post-poll coalition made them inferior. To be swindled by a sober Uddhav Thackeray, and an ageing Sharad Pawar and an exhausted Congress is not something Amit Shah is going to forget. Because more they scream about “Congress mukt Bharat’, they are actually seeing congress somehow coming in their way. The BJP is burning to gain power back in Maharashtra. And before it can mount a coup, it has to do everything to weaken and disgrace the Uddhav Thackeray government. Uddhav needs to be very shrewd just like his father and mentor when it comes to dealing with BJP.
What I feel is BJP’s persistent attacks are probably pushing the ruling allies to stick together more closely. While NCP president Sharad Pawar has chosen to describe Fadnavis as an “impatient man”, senior party leader Nawab Malik avers that the BJP will not be able to weaken the government. “Let the BJP keep dreaming about the Maharashtra government’s fall,” Malik, a cabinet minister, says. “They have a right to dream but all the coalition parties in the government are together. Nobody can do anything.” When coalition leaders showing faith in each other, BJP opened attack from self-owned media houses and its instinctually mortgaged anchors. Post pandemic, it is going to be a litmus test for Uddhav Thackeray, because it depends on Sena’s equations with the allies, especially Pawar, who holds the key to its existence. At the same time, Maha Vikas Aghadi needs to come with some strong strategy, to deal with unreasonable media houses. They need to be given checkmate or else these brutal attacks will keep deterring the dignity of the alliance.