On Wednesday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray shifted his residence from ‘Varsha’ Bungalow which is the official residence of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to ‘Matoshree’, his family residence in Mumbai, hinting at the fall of the MVA government. In a Facebook live speech, he also stated that he was not interested in being the state CM and would resign if his party members demand so.
This is a day after Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde rebelled against the MVA government and demanded the re-alliance of Shiv Sena with the BJP. Shinde who has attained the support of 44 MLAs including 37 Shiv Sena MLAs stated that the party led by CM Uddhav Thackeray was disrespecting the ideologies put forth by Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. He also added that the current Shiv Sena had gone far away from the policies of Hindutva.
While many supported the point put forth by Eknath Shinde and criticized CM Thackeray for countering the argument with an emotional Facebook Live session, several leftists, liberals, and journalists expressed their grief and claimed that CM was forced to leave the official residence. Actress Simi Garewal showcased her support for Shiv Sena by praising CM Uddhav Thackeray. “Because he has no greed for power, he doesn’t play wily political games. It’s rare to find a leader of such dignity and integrity as Uddhav Thackeray”, she tweeted on June 22. She forgot that it was greed of power that made Uddhav Thackeray end decades old alliance with BJP and joined hands with Congress and NCP to become the CM. He had changed the alliance as BJP didn’t accept his demand for the CM post because BJP had won more seats than Shiv Sena in the assembly polls.
Similarly, author Kiram Marmal lauded CM Uddhav Thackeray for being a ‘good CM’. “He’s been sensible, practical, understated, addressed citizens regularly without hectoring them or talking down to them, unlike some others. I honestly can’t think of anyone else who could do a better job amongst a current lot of contenders”, she added.
The left liberals forgot that Uddhav Thackeray has been running the most vicious government, arresting youths and keeping them in jails with dozens of FIRs in different police stations accross the state just for some social media posts criticising the govt or the leaders of the alliance.
Journalist Swati Chaturvedi who writes for NDTV and Gulf news meanwhile responded emotionally to the emotional Facebook live session of the Maharashtra CM. She said that whatever Uddhav Thackeray said was straight from his heart and was zero drama. In the series of tweets, she added that CM Uddhav, whom she said has been known for past 20 years, had done a good job as state CM during the pandemic. “Maharashtra needs to decide if it wants ‘resort politics’ and big bucks deciding electoral choices”, she tweeted.
Maharashtra has been the worst affected state in the Covid-19 pandemic, with workers from other states forced to leave the state during the lockdown. While PM Modi had asked the states to keep people from other states in the respective states to prevent migration of people in order to stop the spread of Coronavirus, Uddhav Thackeray was demanding to send back the workers from other states, eventually leading to pan-India spread of the Chinese Virus.
Journalist, Columnist, and Author Sagarika Ghosh also tweeted in support of Shiv Sena and said, “CM Uddhav Thackeray was an accidental CM yet, 1) kept out communal bulldozer politics from Maha, 2) gave empathetic admin during Covid 3) made attempt to recast Shiv Sena as a more moderate 21st-century force. Perhaps his exit was always inevitable yet also unfortunate”. While Ghosh supported Maharashtra CM, she indirectly targeted the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and indirectly accused it of targeting people of a particular community.
Just because Shive Sena severed ties with BJP, it became more moderate for Sagarika Ghose, despite the fact that the party has become more extremist in attacking its critics.
Also, the Quint journalist Aditya Menon credited CM Uddhav Thackeray for keeping Maharashtra safe from communal violence. Selectively omitting the recent incidents of violence against ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma in Mumbai, Solapur, or the protests that were led in support of Hijab in Pune and Thane, Menon said that CM Uddhav Thackeray had kept the state safe from ‘anti-Muslim’ crackdowns in his tenure. “Thackeray took matured stand on most issues”, he said.
Many other journalists also joined the race calling Uddhav a humble and kind politician. “Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray gracefully left Varsha bungalow. He did not cling to the power place. Rare to see such a kind humble gesture by a politician. Otherwise, despite several notices to politicians they refuse to vacate govt bungalows and treat them as their private property”, said journalist Sudhir Suryawanshi on June 22.
In the series of a tweet, he added that Thackeray was possibly the only one who could receive affection from common people and emotionally charged women Sainik. As CM Thackeray walked away from ‘Varsha to Matoshree’, many Shiv Sena women workers were seen supporting him and raising slogans like, “Uddhav Thackeray tum aage bad ho, hum tumhare Saath hai (UT you lead, we are with you)”.
The way CM Uddhav Thackeray received affections from common people & Shiv Sainik while coming from Varsha to Matoshree that hardly anyone will get in Mumbai. Huge crowd, mostly emotionally charged women Sainik. Thackeray also stopped his convoy at many places to meet people.— Sudhir Suryawanshi (@ss_suryawanshi) June 22, 2022
NDTV journalist further mocked the intentions of Eknath Shinde who demanded the realliance of Shiv Sena and BJP. His tweet implied that Shinde was being used by the BJP for attaining power. “Uddhav Thackeray’s googly to Eknath Shinde – “can you assure the next CM will be from the Shiv Sena”. BJP wants its CM.”, she tweeted.
Uddhav Thackeray’s googly to Eknath Shinde – “can you assure the next CM will be from the Shiv Sena”. BJP wants it’s own CM.— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) June 22, 2022
Eknath Shinde who is at present in Guwahati hotel has attained the crucial support of 35 Shiv Sena MLAs and 7 independent MLAs. Shinde has already said that he has no intentions to rebel against the ideologies of party supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and raised the slogans of ‘Shiv Sena Jindabad’ and ‘Balasaheb Thackeray ki Jay’ in the Radisson Blu Hotel. He reiterated that the Shiv Sena formed by Balasaheb Thackeray was different from the one that is led by CM Uddhav Thackeray.