The people are looking up to Modi to pull Mumbai out of the grave situation that it is finding itself in today
With the situation in Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, worsening by the hour, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena is finding himself increasingly cornered not only by an understandably aggressive BJP but also by his coalition partner the NCP. His confrontationist attitude towards Governor B.S. Koshiyari and the Modi govt is only making things worse for him and the state.
Uddhav supporters say that one should factor in two facts while assessing his performance. One is that he had no worthwhile administrative experience when he took the oath of office over six months ago. In fact, he wanted his 29 yr old son Aditya to be elected CM of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi govt. But NCP chief Sharad Pawar shot down that idea and asked Uddhav to don the mantle. At a meeting of India Inc Uddhav admitted to FM Nirmala Sitharaman that he does not understand anything about the budget! His candour drew sniggers from the assembled captains of industry.
Uddhav crossed swords with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on the migrants’ issue. Yogi Adityanath is being repeatedly targeted by him and his minions like Sanjay Raut without any provocation.
The second factor is Uddhav’s delicate condition. He reportedly has about six stents in his heart and cannot undertake strenuous work. That’s why he decided to work from home well before the lockdown. However, these factors are of little or no concern when the COVID-19 situation is deteriorating rapidly in Mumbai. An estimated seven lakh people have left the city fearing the worst.
On Monday the number of COVID-19 related deaths crossed the thousand mark at 1,026. The total cases are 31,789; the highest in the country.
When his CMship was in trouble, it was Modi who threw a lifeline at him by getting elections held for the legislative council. But for Modi, Uddhav would have been an ex-CM today.
It was widely expected that at least after taking a major help from Modi, Uddhav would be conciliatory towards the Centre. The BJP was shocked when it found him stepping up his aggression towards the Centre and its constitutional representative like the governor. When the latter convened a high-level meeting to review the grim health crisis, Uddhav insulted him by sending his PA Milind Narvekar! Uddhav crossed swords with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on the migrants’ issue. Yogi Adityanath is being repeatedly targeted by him and his minions like Sanjay Raut without any provocation.
The NCP is increasingly getting exasperated with his “casual style of functioning.’ NCP ministers like Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik are making it a point to snub him openly. Worried about the directionless state of affairs during a pandemic like this, Pawar himself has stepped out of his house to take stock of the ground reality despite his advanced age and poor health. But his intervention is too less and too late.
Former CM Narayan Rane called on Koshiyari on Monday and fervently urged him to impose President’ rule to rescue the state. President’ rule is imposed under Article 356 when there is a break down of the Constitutional machinery. But, what Maharashtra is witnessing today is much worse than that. The people are looking up to Modi to pull Mumbai out of the grave situation that it is finding itself in today. It’s a do or dies situation for the Urbs Prima in Indis.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.