For the BJP and Shiv Sena, adjustment is a political reality
The Shiv Sena-BJP’s bickering should not be allowed to affect governance in Maharashtraeditorials Updated: Oct 29, 2017 17:06 IST
Ahead of completing three years in power in Maharashtra on October 31, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, generally circumspect on relations with his troublesome ally, Shiv Sena, offered some advice to party chief, Uddhav Thackeray. He cautioned the Sena that playing the dual role of the Opposition while being in the government was a breach of people’s trust and not in keeping with the mandate. Fadnavis, seen as BJP’s ‘good cop’ while handling the Sena, had so far shied away from publicly slamming the ally unless in the election arena. He is well aware that if his government has to complete its five-year tenure, then adjustment with the Sena is a political reality.
So, the warning to the Sena is an indication that even the chief minister is running out of patience with the constant badgering and sniping by the ally. More importantly, it’s advice that Thackeray should consider carefully. His party’s performance in local government body elections — from municipal corporations to village-level panchayats held this year — proves Mr Fadnavis right. There seems to be little acceptance, at least electorally, so far for the dual stance adopted by the Sena. The Sena’s rank and file is also irked with the duplicity and would prefer it if Mr Thackeray pulls the rug from under the feet of the Fadnavis-led government now. What we are likely to witness is more strife between the saffron allies even as they share power through 2018 and perhaps until the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Even as he gave the advice to Mr Thackeray, the CM said that his party had no issues aligning with the Sena yet again in the 2019 elections.
Both the sides will take their cues from the results of the elections being held from now until 2019 starting with Gujarat, to further hone their strategies. Meanwhile the people can only hope the bickering won’t affect governance in Maharashtra.