Once ridiculed for his lacklustre public speaking style, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is winning praises on social media for his down-to-earth demeanour and simple, convincing communication style as the State fights the coronavirus spread.

Thackeray is regularly addressing people using social media platforms, providing detailed information about the steps taken by the State to combat the Covid-19 crisis.

“Mother asks to switch on Uddhav Thackeray’s speech. Feels soothing to hear him. He will take the right steps. All will be well,” commented Tejashri Akshay IK, adding that every time Uddhav concludes his speech her mother blesses him from the heart and greets him with Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra .

Mangesh Chaya Namdev Kale says that Thackeray’s comforting words give the feeling of a family head speaking to other members. Ankush Phopase commented that other leaders should learn how to communicate with people during the crisis and assure them instead of creating panic.

Rising to the challenge

The spread of coronavirus came as the first major challenge before Thackeray after he took over as CM in November last year. With no administrative experience, not many were sure how he would handle the situation. Widely, it was said that he would rely on his deputy Ajit Pawar and other senior ministers in the State to handle the crisis. Devendra Fadnavis’ supporters had started a Twitter trend saying Maharashtra needed a CM like Fadnavis to handle the crisis.

Surprisingly, Thackeray in his own silent way took one concrete step after another, with the help of government officials at the Mantralaya — functioning with just 5 per cent of the total capacity.

Along with State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Thackeray streamlined the health system to ensure that suspected cases of coronavirus are detected and quarantined. He continues to hold a series of meetings with different departments and at the same time opened communication channels with the Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earning praises

Chief Ministers and leaders from other States lauded him for taking care of over five lakh migrants who had migrated to Maharashtra from other States and were stuck due to the lockdown. Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah tweeted that Uddhav Thackeray has been a “revelation”.

BJP leader LK Advani’s close confidant Sudheendra Kulkarni tweeted: ‘If there is one leader who has risen ENORMOUSLY in the eyes of erstwhile critics, like me, it is #UddhavThackeray. As #Maharashtra’s CM, his handling of #corona crisis shows: Calmness with Firmness, Compassion with Competence, No Discrimination And no अहम् भाव - “I am the EMPEROR”’.