Here's why Uddhav Thackeray led government in Maharashtra deserves applause during the COVID-19 outbreak

Here's why Uddhav Thackeray led government in Maharashtra deserves applause during the COVID-19 outbreak

The world is facing a major health crisis in recent times due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak, which has been termed as a ‘pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO). At the time of a crisis and a pandemic, in this case, the governments at every level of a federal structure should be effective in executing their strategies to ensure the safety of their citizens. 

The responsibility of every governing body during such crisis broadens - from controlling the panic among the public due to any calamity and educating them about the same should be a priority at all times. Moreover, it becomes important for the governments to get people to implement guidelines which can help curb the crisis. 

In such times, the citizens require the confidence of their government so that the insecurities among the masses can be eliminated. This can only happen if the governments decide to ‘seriously’ deal with the catastrophe which has been unleashed upon its citizens. 

These hard times call for the governments to not be conflicting and contradicting in their intend and message to the people, regarding the ongoing crisis such as the coronavirus outbreak so that the public doesn’t underestimate the seriousness of the situation. 

Firm Decisions

Since Maharashtra became the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak with the most number of positive COVID-19 cases in India, the state government made swift decisions to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

As the COVID-19 cases started to soar up in Maharashtra in mid-March, the Uddhav Thackeray government first urged and then ordered the private firms to provide ‘work from home’ to their employees and operate with 50 per cent attendance in order to curb the unnecessary crowd in major cities including Mumbai. Thackeray also appealed the people not to venture out on streets unnecessarily. 

The local trains in Mumbai are the lifeline of the city with millions using the service daily to commute to their offices. At first, the Uddhav Thackeray government refrained from shutting public transportation including buses, trains and metros. 

However, after there were reports of unnecessary travels amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Maharashtra government decided to shut the public transport and ordered all non-essential workplaces to remain close till March 31. 

In view of the increasing cases of COVID-19, the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government imposed section 144 of CrPC in Maharashtra on the occasion of one-day ‘Janta curfew’ announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Later, the Maharashtra government on March 23 announced a statewide curfew to freeze movements across the state to stop the spread of the deadly virus. 

This move by the Maharashtra government came days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-days nationwide lockdown due in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

'Zero' Administrative Experience

Amid this crisis, the Maharashtra government has been working with only 5 per cent of its force. Thackeray doesn’t have any administrative experience as he assumed office for the first time as CM of Maharashtra in November last year. 

Even after he took over as the Maharashtra CM, Uddhav Thackeray was labelled as the “pawn in the hands of Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi” by the opposition party and leaders. Moreover, the work Uddhav Thackeray is doing has earned praises even from his opponents.

‘Zero’ administrative experience has not troubled Uddhav Thackeray’s effectiveness in taking firm decisions amid the ongoing crisis. The Chief Minister remains in contact with experienced state government officials who help in decision making and are aware of the ground realities.

Along with his opponents, Uddhav Thackeray has managed to gain the confidence of the citizens as well via his ‘compassionate’ social media addresses. In his LIVE interactions, apart from announcing the official announcements, Thackeray educates the public about the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak while constantly appealing them to stay home. 

The early days of the Shiv Sena-led MVA government saw some differences of opinions between the three alliance partners. However, with the handling of this crisis, Uddhav Thackeray has emerged as the dominating voice in the MVA and has managed to ensure smooth functioning of his government. 

Handling the panic amid coronavirus crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for 21-days in view of the increasing coronavirus cases in the country. This led to a major panic among the public, especially among the migrant workers and labourers as they are the one most affected by the lockdown. 

Since all the business actives have been  halted, it is difficult for the migrant workers to survive in cities if they don’t have work. The nationwide lockdown is witnessing a mass exodus of the migrant workers and labourers from cities to villages. Many are walking home with no food and money. 

In Delhi, the situation got worse when thousands of migrant workers and labourers gathered at Anand Vihar bus terminal. This has led to a huge compromise in the centre’s plan to practice social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, it has risked the lives of several migrant workers and others 

However, to tackle the exodus of migrant workers, Uddhav Thackeray appealed the migrant workers to not leave Maharashtra and directed all the district collectors across the state to reach out to those stranded in the state and ensure that they are taken care of amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In order to provide essential items including food, water and medical kit, the Maharashtra government has set up 262 relief camps to provide shelter to 70,399 migrant workers as well as the homeless amid the nationwide lockdown. 

After the nationwide lockdown was announced, people rushed outside stores to get essentials while breaking the ‘social distancing’ norm in panic. As this happened, Uddhav Thackeray announced that the grocery and medical stores will be allowed to open for 24 hours while assuring that the essential services and items will continue to remain available throughout the lockdown. 

As of April 2, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 1,965 while in Maharashtra the number has increased to 416 after 81 fresh cases were reported in the state on Thursday.

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