Some takeaways from Maharashtra government formation

Updated on Nov 28, 2019 03:24 AM IST
The shenanigans are confusing, but there are some takeaways.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to be sworn in as the CM on Thursday.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to be sworn in as the CM on Thursday.
Hindustan Times | By

With many fast-paced political developments headquartered in Mumbai all month so that Maharashtra can have a government, what else would Mumbaiites discuss? The ridiculously high price of onions, next movie release or job? Most of it circles back to politics. The shenanigans are confusing, but there are some takeaways.

The BJP and Shiv Sena contested the Assembly election together, secured a majority in the 288-member legislature, but could not form the government. What should have been an open-and-shut case has lingered into its fifth week because the Sena upped its fight with its partner after the results – for its own survival. The Congress and NCP together won 98 seats, were willing to play the good Opposition, but will now be partnering with the Sena in the new Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government. Mandate means nothing. The Sena, which proudly wore the badge of belligerent Hindutva for 30 years, and the Congress, which swears by secularism, made common cause. It’s complicated.

To cut through the clutter, they were driven by a single-point agenda of keeping a predatory BJP away from power. And Sharad Pawar fused the ideological opponents into an alliance along with his NCP. There’s a good reason he’s been called strongman, boss-man, master strategist and more; he gave a practical demonstration of political manoeuvring to generations that did not associate gladiatorial skills with the portly grandfather.

Last Friday night, they were all set to form the government. Next morning, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis and Pawar’s impetuous nephew, Ajit, had been sworn in. People move fast in Mumbai, but even so, this was breathlessly rapid. The uncle-nephew turned into a full-blown soap opera and three constitutional heads – the Governor, President and Prime Minister – had acted in ways not befitting the offices they held. They have not offered explanations yet.

This power-at-any-cost by bending constitutional norms needed to be pushed back. This, the alliance managed to do. That’s why its opportunism and ‘five-star resort politics’ may be overlooked. There’s never a perfect solution in politics anyway. That said, status quoism and dynasties are still thriving. CM-designate Uddhav Thackeray has not ever contested an election or held office.

The so-called modern-day “Chanakya” and his “Chanakyaniti” that steamrolled all norms to form governments in other states came a cropper here. Not every politician everywhere can be bought with massive funds from electoral bonds, “Chanakya” now knows. That’s not because they are a highly principled lot, but their regional pride was shrewdly kindled. Remember “Maharashtra doesn’t bend in front of Delhi” remark”? This sub-nationalism is not going away soon. Thackeray spoke of “teaching (BJP) a lesson”. Sena men “protected” MLAs from BJP. Sena’s Abdul Sattar said “…mundi tod denge”. The Marathi versus Gujarati sentiment is back. All, triggers for social anxiety, 1990s redux.

Can Uddhav’s Sena behave now that it is in power? Mumbai is watching.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    When the Siddhartha Vihar Hostel in Wadala was brought down, floor by floor, in early February by the BMC, a piece of Mumbai’s history associated with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was obliterated.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Chandigarh MC is planning a hygiene and waste management upgrade for its slaughter house. (HT File)

    Hygiene, waste management upgrade for Chandigarh MC slaughter house in offing

    The municipal corporation will be modernising its slaughter house in Industrial Area Phase 1 by incorporating latest technology. The modernised slaughter house is expected to be ready in two years. The plant will be equipped with the latest machinery for slaughtering animals for human consumption. It will be air-conditioned and for proper waste management, an effluent treatment plant will also be constructed.

  • Fake passport: Special CBI court summons Abu Salem on August 22 (file)

    Fake passport: Special CBI court summons Abu Salem on August 22

    The CBI court of special judicial magistrate, has summoned gangster Abu Salem on August 22, in case related to procuring passport for his wife from Lucknow's regional passport office, using fake documents. Special judicial magistrate, CBI court, Samriddhi Mishra, on Monday passed the order. The court has completed all hearings in the case related with the CBI, the central agency which probed the case. A broker, Pervez Alam has to appear before the court on August 10.

  • Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

    HC to pronounce judgment on Majithia’s bail plea on Aug 10

    A Punjab and Haryana high court bench on Wednesday would pronounce its judgment on the bail plea of Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia. The matter was reserved for final order by the bench of justice MS Ramachandra Rao and justice Sureshwar Thakur on July 29. Majithia had approached high court seeking bail on May 23 in a case registered under various sections of NDPS Act in December 2021 by the Punjab Police.

  • The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said it has received state party status in Goa from the Election Commission (EC) on the basis of a review of its performance in the February assembly polls.

    AAP recognised as state party in Goa: Kejriwal

    New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday said it has received state party status in Goa from the Election Commission on the basis of a review of its performance in the February assembly polls. The party led by Arvind Kejriwal is already a recognised state party in Delhi and Punjab where it is in power. The AAP won two seats in the Goa state assembly elections, securing an overall vote share of 6.77%.

  • Panjab University’s arts, languages departments have been the worst-hit by the varsity’s faculty crunch . (HT FIle)

    Panjab University’s arts, languages departments worst-hit by faculty crunch

    Panjab University has been grappling with faculty crunch for the past many years now and a majority of the varsity's arts and languages departments have been the worst-hit with some of them running on less than 30% regular teachers. The last recruitment of teachers took place in PU in 2014. There are only two teachers each in the centre for social work, police administration, the departments of Gandhian and peace studies, and human rights.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now