For those who are not following Maharashtra politics here is what has happened. The Shivsena-BJP govt got majority, Shivsena(SS) broke the alliance as BJP was not giving up the CM post, talks of a SS-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were happening, BJP tried to form a govt with the help of a faction of the NCP, Supreme Court intervened and declared floor test immediately, BJP govt had to resign, a new coalition called Maha Vikas Aghadi (NCP-SS-Congress) formed the govt with Uddhav Thackeray as the CM. That was quite a political rollercoaster in itself.
Till 23rd November my sympathies were with the BJP. I may not always support the BJP, but I believed that they had done good work in Maharashtra and wouldn’t have minded them if they again formed the govt. The election results were a surprise for me, I thought that the BJP would be the clear winner with more than 145 seats (they won 105 seats) and expected the BJP-SS govt to comfortably form the government. I felt bad for the BJP when SS broke the alliance, the BJP had offered the post of Dy. CM to the SS. They were offering the revenue portfolio to SS, this is one of the most important portfolios as Maharashtra is the richest of all states in India.
This was the best offer for the SS which had just won 56 seats, almost half of BJPs. They let all that go for the Chief Ministers post. I, at that time, called it a truly greedy move.
I thought the SS-NCP-Congress alliance was an unholy alliance as parties with different ideologies were coming to power to keep the BJP out. I was rooting for the BJP at that point of time. Then everything changed on 23rd November when Devendra Fadnavis took a secret oath as the CM with Ajit Pawar from the NCP as Dy-CM.
I understood why parties with different ideologies are coming to power, not only to keep the BJP out of power but to save the country from them. Now this may sound like an exaggeration but one has to look at the track record of BJP to know the nefarious things it has done in the past. Karnataka, Goa, Bihar, Manipur, one day you have a leader saying everything is fine the next day a state is divided into two union territories (quoting Mahua Moitra here) and many other practises that can be deemed as ultra vires.
Today Amit Shah may be saying that they were trying to respect the people’s mandate but no one asked him the question as to why did people’s mandate had to be respected as early as 05:47 AM? Why they were aligning with the NCP whom they themselves called corrupt? How are you any different from the Congress of the 1975?
It is still unbelievable that Devendra Fadnavis, a person of such high stature and respect would be part of an early morning coup. They all called Sonia Gandhi the remote control, but Amit Shah seems to hold the master key.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) have started on shaky ideological grounds but it is a coalition of necessity, specially when the ruling party has the most of the media on its side, most of the political donations in its pocket and has the office of the governor and the president just a whatsapp message away, day or night. Perhaps, this is a start of a united opposition. United opposition has been successful in Biar against the same Modi govt. The potential to take on the ruling party is truly untrammeled. One has to remember the Janata Party take on Indira Gandhi’s Congress in 1977.
It took 60 years for the Congress to develop an anti-congress political thought that could win elections. The BJP seems to be beating Congress on that front. BJP’s oldest ally, Shivsena, left them recently, the JDU is not truly happy with the BJP , the alliances in the North-East are held together by loose threads.
The loss of face in Maharashtra should ideally raise alarm bell ringings. The BJP should introspect itself and should hold itself accountable to the constitution. Perhaps, the BJP should ask this question to itself: 100 years from now when this periods political history will be written, will BJP be known as the the party that has given development, $5 trillion, bankruptcy code, bullet train and a strong national security OR will it be known as a party that has given demonetisation, a ticket to a terror accused, a flawed GST and a period where the constitution and its structure didn’t matter.
The ball is in BJP’s court, only it can decide.