In a modest move, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday, January 19, after the inauguration of a Walwa Tehsil office in Islampur, pulled up a chair for a local Tehsildar in his office and gave him an assurance against the kind of power distance that one normally witnesses in bureaucratic setups.
As per reports, apart from Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Finance Minister Jayant Patil and several other state ministers were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
Just after the inauguration of the Walwa Tehsil office which has been built at the spot where protesters used to stage their demonstrations during the pre-independence period, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took a tour of the Tehsil building for a thorough inspection.
Upon the CM entering the office of the Tehsildar, Ravindra Sabnis, the latter had apparently motioned to vacate his seat as a mark of respect or similar, but the Shiv Sena chief was having none of it. Pulling out the Tehsildar's chair, the CM said, "This chair is yours. Please sit here." However, Sabnis politely denied as collector Abhijit Chowdhury, the Minister, the Minister of State were present in the room. To this, CM Thackeray said, "This is your building. You will be handling everything here. This is your chair."
He further pointed out to a lemon tree outside the building and told Sabnis, "Act like the lemon tree. Give lots of shade and love. But, most importantly, understand all those who come to you."
After the inauguration, the Tehsildar officer, Ravindra Sabnis said, "Chief Minister inaugurated this office and left, but whenever I sit on this chair, I feel like he is right next to me."