The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) massive victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, will lend stability to its government in Maharashtra, its leaders said on Saturday.
Political analysts too opined that the response the BJP is getting from voters means its troublesome ally, Shiv Sena, will be forced to soften its stand towards the BJP.
A bitter fight and subsequent severance of ties between the Sena and the BJP ahead of the recent Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections had raised the questions over the stability of the Fadnavis government in the state. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s statement, soon after the BMC results, that not only the Mumbai mayor, but even the chief minister of the state will be from his party had raised many eyebrows in the political corridors. Shiv Sena’s stand of teaming up with the opposition on the issue of the loan waiver in the legislature too had reinforced the widened rift between the two ruling parties. The talks of the Shiv Sena pulling out of the government in the wake of this, had gathered momentum of late. But the astonishing success of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh will help push the opposition, and the Shiv Sena, a step backward, according to analysts.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, minutes after the results of the UP election were announced, his government was stable and there will be no mid-term polls in the state. He also has reminded its ally that the Uttar Pradesh results have underlined the mood of the nation. “Opponents join hands when they feel threatened from the all-round success of the BJP. But, it will not pose any threat to the government,” he said soon after the results.
When Shiv Sena refused to seek BJP’s support to install a mayor in the BMC even after falling short of the majority mark, the Congress and NCP tried to extend their support. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, had gone saying his party was ready to face mid-term polls and they will not go with the BJP in any situation. This had led to a buzz in the political corridors about the possibility of the three parties coming together to dislodge the BJP from the government. Though the idea did not get any further endorsement, the bitterness between BJP and Sena remained of the same scale.
According to a source, the state’s BJP leaders even discussed the possibilty of the Sena pulling out with its central leadership. The central leadership had reportedly reassured Fadnavis about the party’s strong position even if the mid-term polls are held.
“The Shiv Sena will now have to think twice before taking any challenging step against the BJP after today’s results. There will be paradigm shift in India politics post the UP results and that will have a natural reflection in Maharashtra too. Sena too will have to soften the stand it took during the BMC polls last month,” said Prakash Bal, political analyst.
The analysts also said the results will have a bearing on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly elections to be held in two years. According to a Congress leader, the Opposition has now no option, but to put up a united front against the winning streak.
“Not only the Shiv Sena, but even the Congress and NCP too have a huge existential challenge before them ahead of the 2019 elections,” said Hemant Desai, another analyst.