Three days after jolt, Aghadi now stronger
The surprise move by the BJP and Ajit Pawar to come together and announce they were forming the government in the state — on Saturday — may have proved unsuccessful in the end, but it does seem to have been the jolt the Shiv Sena-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party needed.
After all, the alliance-in-the-making had spent days discussing a partnership without arriving at closure. On Friday evening, finally, they announced they would meet the governor and stake claim to form the government the following day. Only to be pipped at the post.
But over the past three days, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (as the three party alliance is named) didn’t put a foot wrong. On Saturday, they approached the Supreme Court, and ring-fenced their legislators from possible poaching. By Monday they staked claim to form the government, with proof that they had the numbers.
On Tuesday, the court ordered a floor test of the Devendra Fadnavis led grouping. He resigned soon after. By evening the three parties finalized the power sharing formula. They are expected to swear in their ministers over the next few days.
A section of the leaders from the Congress and the NCP admit that it was the delay in finalising the deal that may have given an opportunity to the Bharatiya Janata Party to convince Ajit Pawar to join its government. The leaders add that distrust between Congress and NCP may have been one of the reasons for the delay in the talks.
Saturday’s shock proved to be just what the doctor ordered, though.
“The alliance has emerged stronger after the jolt it received on Saturday. The Congress, which took four weeks to hold a meeting to elect its legislative party leader, announced the appointment within two hours of the Supreme Court verdict on Tuesday. The sharing of the portfolios between the three parties too has almost been finalised,”pointed out a senior Congress leader who did not want to be named.
There also seems to have been a division of responsibilities. The NCP focused on keeping its flock together and finalised the terms of the alliance. The Sena ensured legislators of all three parties were not exposed to poaching. And the Congress took charge of the legal fight.
After the Supreme Court verdict and the resignation of Devendra Fadnavis, the leadership of the
three parties met at Hotel Sofitel in the Bandra Kurla Complex, where they unanimously decided that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would be the chief minister of the grouping for the entire term.