Mumbai: In a key strategic move to strengthen co-ordination with the government, Shiv Sena chief and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is planning to appoint Ravindra Waikar as chief coordinator in the CM's office. Waikar may get the rank of a cabinet minister.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government has completed two months of its tenure. With three parties under its wing (Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress), the CM office will have to ensure effective coordination with all the three parties and their leaders. As the Shiv Sena chief has become the CM, its leaders and workers have high expectations from him. They are approaching the CMO for various important work. But there is no one to give them a patient hearing and prioritise their work.
Devendra Fadnavis too, had adopted this model. He had appointed Bhartiya Janata Party leader Shrikant Bhartiya in his office as an officer on special duty. Bhartiya worked as a bridge between BJP leaders, workers and the CM office. He used to sit in the CM office along with other OSDs.
Waikar was a minister of state in the Fadnavis government and is very close to Thackeray. During the government formation and cabinet expansion process, it was expected that he would be made a cabinet minister. But he failed to get berth in the council of ministers. It is also being said that both Sunil Prabhu and Waikar were in the race for the minister post and both are close to Thackeray. By denying chance to both, Thackeray chose a middle path.
Since Thackeray too is new to administration, it is learned that he feels overburdened with office work and meetings. Therefore, he needs a political assistant, who will ease this pressure. The appointee will give his feedback and will pass key suggestions received by ministers, leaders and workers to the CM. He will also keep a check on the officials in the CM office to ensure fast processing of files pending at the CM level. His experience as minister and long time experience as the chairman of the standing committee will help Thackeray to effectively push development, especially in Mumbai.