Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has got all the reasons to smile. A Brahmin politician whose political obituary was written within months of taking over a state ruled by Maratha bigwigs in the past, Fadnavis has grown in stature within and outside the BJP. Under him, the Bharatiya Janata Party has acquired a position that unnerves ally Shiv Sena and pose a danger to rivals such as the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.
Here are some inferences that people can draw from the civic election results.
1. The result of Maharashtra civic polls will help him consolidate his hold over the BJP. His rivals, waiting for an opportunity to strike back in the event of a loss, are disappointed after Thursday’s result. Fadnavis took much on himself and led the party from the front. He has earned the trust of the party’s central leadership and emerged as undisputed leader of the BJP in the state.
2. Fadnavis enjoys the rare reputation of ‘Mr Clean’ in Maharashtra politics. His government has largely been taint-free and his personal reputation intact. He is just 44 and has long innings to play, possibly even outside the state.
3. As BJP increases its footprint, Fadnavis has helped the party get uncomfortably close to the Shiv Sena in Mumbai. The BJP will attempt taking control of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which is crucial in the schemes of Sena’s things. Party president Amit Shah is understood to have asked leaders to explore possibilities for that. Any such move is bound to create more acrimony between the two long-time allies.
4. The outcome of civic elections and the turns politics will take over the next few weeks will also have a bearing on the state government and the Centre. The Sena has been miffed at not getting due representation in the Narendra Modi and Fadnavis governments. Having been able to retain its dominance in Mumbai, Sena could get more aggressive.