Maharashtra as a state is the top contributor to National Coronavirus cases. As of Saturday, the Maharashtra count for Coronavirus positive cases had already crossed the 47,000 mark. As a state, Maharashtra is contributing almost 50% of the nation’s total Coronavirus cases. As expected, the Chief Minister of the State, Uddhav Thackeray, is being criticised widely for his handling of the situation. While Shiv Sena’s PR strategy is extensive, roping in Bollywood celebrities and even journalists to sing songs praising the CM, the reality does weigh down on the political dispensation from time to time.
Uddhav Thackeray today released a video message for the people of his state. In that video, one of the things he said was “We can’t say that the lockdown will be over by May 31. We will have to see how we will go forward. The coming time is crucial as the multiplication of virus is picking up”.
As per this statement, it would seem like Uddhav Thackeray is agreeing that the lockdown has merits and is perhaps one of the only ways to arrest the Coronavirus pandemic, especially in a state like Maharashtra, that has been out of control for a long time as far as this pandemic is concerned.
But then, Uddhav Thackeray says something completely different and bizarre. He says, “It was wrong to impose the lockdown suddenly. It will be equally wrong to lift it in one go. It will be a double whammy for our own people”.
After saying that he might not be lifting the lockdown because there is a severe multiplication of virus, Uddhav Thackeray suddenly said that the sudden imposition of lockdown was a bad decision in itself. Further, after saying the imposition was incorrect, he backs it up by saying that it will be equally detrimental if the lockdown is lifted completely.
This is a classic ‘Heads I win, Tails you lose’ situation where Uddhav Thackeray is saying that the lockdown is needed in Maharashtra because it has spiralled out of control but at the same time, mouthing mandatory criticism to play petty politics in complete contradiction to his previous statements.
The Chief Minister, his party and his allies’ confusion doesn’t seem to end there. Uddhav Thackeray in his address to his people said that he needs more time to start domestic travel. It is pertinent to note that the central government is all set to start domestic travel soon. Further, the Home Minister of the State, who belongs to NCP also said that it was a bad idea to start domestic air travel to Maharashtra.
It is "extremely ill-advised" to reopen airports in red zones amid the coronavirus pandemic: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 24, 2020
However, soon after these tall statements, NCP’s Nawab Malik, who is also a Minister in Maharashtra went on record to state that Maharashtra will actually allow 25 flights to land in Maharashtra on Monday.
Maharashtra govt has agreed to allow 25 take offs and 25 landings everyday for domestic flights from Mumbai. This number will be increased gradually. State govt will issue details and guidelines in this regard soon: Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/VnctP8YpK5— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2020
Maharashtra, which has survived so far on PR stunts and media control seems to be spiralling out of control. The state was mismanaged up until now as far as tackling the Coronavirus pandemic was concerned with the highest number of Coronavirus positive cases from the state, but now, even their public perception seems to be going for a toss with rambling statements first, contradictory statements next.