A year on, Maharashtra election results that caused drama; political uncertainty continuesUpdated: Oct 25, 2020, 00:44 IST
A year since results of the Maharashtra Assembly elections were declared, the political uncertainty caused by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dispute, which resulted in the former walking out of the saffron alliance, continues. While the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, an alliance between Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, will complete a year in office on November 28, there are doubts if the coalition will complete its full five-year term.
Elections in the state were held on October 21 and the results were declared on October 24, with the BJP and Sena bagging 161 seats, 16 more than the 145-mark required for majority, in the 288-member Assembly.
The BJP won 105 seats, 17 less that its 2014 tally, while the Sena won 56 seats as against 63 in the previous polls. While the BJP suffered a setback as it was aiming to win 145 seats or closer to it on its own to not be dependent on Sena, Opposition parties NCP and Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively. NCP and Congress had 41 and 42 seats in 2014.
With BJP’s dependence on Sena growing, the latter tried to extract its pound of flesh, demanding the chief ministership for half the term. As BJP refused to oblige, Sena worked on a new and surprising political equation, with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray joining hands. It led to a three-party coalition forming the government with Thackeray at the helm.
The coalition government is slowly settling down, but there are still doubts whether it will complete its five-year tenure. Word in the corridors of power is that the government will continue till Pawar and Thackeray are on the same page.
“When political rivals with different agenda come together to form a government, there is always an element of uncertainty. That’s what is being seen in Maharashtra. The leaders of the ruling parties will have to ensure stability, but so far, it doesn’t look like all three parties have managed to work out a proper understanding,” said political analyst Padmabhushan Deshpande.
The BJP, meanwhile, has donned the role of an aggressive Opposition. Its state leadership is expecting the fall of the government owing to internal contradictions. “We have decided not to take an initiative to pull down the government. Poor performance and one-upmanship between the allies could become troublesome for the government in the coming days,” said a senior BJP leader.