An Open Letter to Dr. Shrikant Eknath Shinde!
Namaste Hon’ble Dr Shrikant ji,
Hope this letter finds you calm after hectic 15 days of Maharashtra politics. The mind must be cool by now, the reality must have sunk in and finally the dream must be complete to see your father, a Shivsainik and an able leader, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde, as the CHief Minister of Maharashtra!
This letter has a purpose and a selfish motive. The purpose you will find out as you scroll through, but selfish motive is, as a journalist and as an ordinary citizen of this state, I don’t want my state to go through the same 2.5 years under MVA ever again. Not a problem with the MVA, but it was about an unholy nexus. Had we had Congress and NCP, it would have been better but with Shivsena in it, the whole ideology changed and somehow the air in the state was not right. Nevertheless, Doctor, now even one single mistake by you people and it will not be spared by your opposition which are Uddhav Thackeray group, the NCP and the COngress who are waiting for an opportunity to pounce back again in the Government.
The purpose of writing this letter even before the cabinet expansion is also to convey a message to you, that please do not make yourself another CM’s son who in the name of his father had created havoc when we had Congress CM and MVA CM just a few days back. Please do not introduce us to any of your cousins, and at no cost do not allow any of your personal Gujarati, Marwari or Marathi friends to come and be a mafia here, as seen in the last Government. Whatever friendship you have with anyone, please don’t let your father’s and BJP’s name malign. Because your father is an emotional man. He wears his heart on his sleeves and makes decisions quickly. It is very easy or rather convenient for any ‘haramkhor and third grade’ contractor/relative/dalaal to misguide him and put him in trouble. Secondly, the staff your father has! Be extremely cautious and vigilant as we all have heard stories about ALL OF THEM, and FYI, heard a few ex-journalists of Thane (Bhide, More, Rane etc….) Cum agents have already begun their ‘operations’.
Now do not be dependent on one single IAS or an IPS as Uddhav Thackeray did. Treat everyone on merit, and help/advise your father do postings on the basis of merits rather than recommendations from Ashar or anyone else. Next important thing, Mantralaya is a totally different ball game with people ready to send us journalists recordings, file clippings, photos, videos and so on and so forth…
Next, people like the ones who revolted against Uddhav and came to your father deserve respect; but at the same time in the last 3 days I have seen these people hobnobbing with your father every single minute. They are there at the Mantralaya and accompanying him everywhere; Please understand for any officer or secretary it will find it difficult to convey anything on the file or proposal. There are a lot of ‘secret messages’ a secretary gives whilst getting the file signed by your Baba.
Next about journalists particularly covering the Mantralaya beat. Last CM Uddhav Thackeray hated our community. But your father’s plus point is man-management. He shares a good rapport with the press, but there are few reporters/editors who will try and dictate terms to you; just so that their files can be signed at the CMO. Beware of such people and ask Baba and your staff at Mantralaya to not entertain such people. These are the same people who led the likes of Awhad and Parab in trouble with their advice. Respect to other media reporters and communication with them on a required basis will only be beneficial.
Finally I know there will be a requirement of funds but my dear MP, if you have any plans of laying your eyes on the BMC and setting up ‘things’, would advise not to do so. But at the same time, a bit here and there, it will be given a blind eye. Also a request for you, ask your PA’s PS and OSD to not treat IAS and IPS and other Mantralaya staff as their home staff.
Rest I think have covered the majority of the topics. You are an MP you will be in Delhi for the majority of the time; just to update you, Delhi is watching the performance of your father like a hawk. They are typical. If they have entrusted your father with a responsibility make sure they will evaluate it too. They have their surveillance in place and to make matters worse, the likes of Thackeray’s, Pawar’s and Throats are on your back. At the same time don’t get disheartened, as you have the Player of the Century-Devendra Fadnavis with you, who will be available at your call.
You must be thinking the majority of the advice was for your father, then why the letter to me? Believe me you will understand in no time, fathers had to leave their chairs only because the sons were uncontrollable!!!
Vikrant Hemant Joshi.