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Make Gadkari Health Minister Chorus Grows Louder As Covid Crisis Deepens

The chorus for appointing Nitin Gadkari as Health Minister – even if for time being — is growing louder by the day amid deadly second wave of pandemic. The Union Minister of Road & Highway Transport – also fondly called as Mr Phoolkari in Maharashtra owing to some incredible feats of engineering, including Mumbai Pune Express and some 55 flyovers in the Maximum City – is now being talked about as the Man of the Moment who could address the unprecedented demand for Covid beds and oxygen – needed critically to save lives. Not only his own BJP fraternity, but also political stalwarts and corporate leaders cutting across ideological lines acknowledge that the minister never fails to walk the talk. The way he managed the raging Covid situation in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region – drawing goodwill of all parties – is the sort of leadership that his admirers expect him to carry forward. This leadership was amply evident in the way he secured about 300 ventilators from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy; and also got leading industrialists committed to higher oxygen supplies. Despite lockdown, he delivered a record 36.4 km a day construction of highways – and has set even higher targets for the current fiscal. His handling of the MSME portfolio too assumes critical importance as he continues to shore up morale of small businesses hit hard by the virus, reaching out with over 500 video conferences. With rumour mills doing overtime since 2019, he has strongly denied that he is eyeing the highest office in the country – nor is he keen to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Looks like Gadkari is born to serve the people. May his tribe increase!