Even as the coronavirus outbreak in Maharashtra rages uncontrollably, the Marathi daily newspaper–Sakal, in an article today, has lauded Maha Vikas Aghadi’s bungled handling of the crisis. Extolling the state government, Sakal depicted Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray as Captain America, Health Minister Rajesh Tope as Iron Man and State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh as Thor from Marvel’s Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Avengers’ while the chief secretary Ajoy Mehta was illustrated as Batman, the fictional character by DC Comics.
Providing a flattering account of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, the article said that the quality of governance of the state in the last six months had proven them wrong who had expressed anxiety over the fate of the state when the alliance between Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP was announced back in December 2019.
“When the alliance between Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP was announced as a coalition to lead Maharashtra, many had expressed their scepticism and wondered if the coalition would be efficient enough to handle the state. A raft of people had desired and wished the coalition to fail. But it did not. Uddhav Thackeray, with his governance of the state, has slammed all his critics,” the article read.
Sakal hails Uddhav as the leader that Maharashtra needs
It further added that even those who opposed Uddhav Thackeray for supporting Hindutva are seen today praising him for his work today. Many people in the state today regard Uddhav as a leader that Maharashtra needs, the article said. “We need to see how this transformation occurred. From those opposing him, how they turned into his greatest admirers? Understanding this transformation does not mean singing paeans to Uddhav but it means recognising qualities that makes one a popular leader,” the article read.
Despite the dire situation in Maharashtra with regards to the coronavirus outbreak, the article heaps praises on the Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for his handling of the crisis. The Marathi news daily claims that Uddhav Thackeray’s decisions to combat the coronavirus spread in the state are grounded in his study of the COVID-19’s spread across the world and inspired from advises rendered by medical and epidemiological experts.
“Officials and journalists who have been closely monitoring Uddhav’s activities from day one claim that the Maharashtra chief minister seeks information from experts in administration and medical field. The experts keep a close tab on how the epidemic pans out in different parts of the world and how different countries are tackling the crisis and the research to tame COVID-19. All these studies help him in making informed decisions,” the article said.
Putting Maharashtra government leadership on the pedestal, the article asserted that Uddhav Thackeray and his ministers did a splendid job in containing the spread of the contagion by constantly talking with the officials, ministers, local administrators, seeking detailed information from different parts of the state through video conferencing and promptly solving those problems.
“In the current era when the information is concealed, Uddhav Thackeray appeared before people like the head of the family and provided information to them in a transparent manner. He kept interacting with the people through news channels or Facebook Live. There was no ambiguity, no concealment, no extravagance in his claims. People were impressed with his sincerity and his tendency of laying bare truth in front of them,” the article in the Marathi news daily said.
Caseload in Maharashtra keeps soaring
However, while the article showered praises on Uddhav Thackeray and other Maharashtra cabinet ministers, the coronavirus outbreak in the state continues to intensify. So far, 135,000 coronavirus cases have been registered in the state with more than 6,200 fatalities. It remains the worst-affected state by the pandemic and the number of caseloads in the state form approximately 40 per cent of the total infections recorded in India. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and India’s financial hub is the worst-hit city from the coronavirus outbreak as the tally of COVID-19 cases touched 67,586 mark.
Since Sakal is owned by Sharad Pawar’s family, we are left to wonder whether the depicted persons got to chose their favorite superheroes.