Game Of Political One Upmanship In Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray’s putra moha– love for the son- along with BJP’S Chanakya’s kootneeti is stalling government formation in Maharashtra as the November 9 deadline draws nearer. It will be interesting to see who blinks first in this political stalemate which has again put the uneasy relationship that the two so called allies enjoy.

Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Fadnavis’ statement that he is unwilling to share the CM’s tenure along with Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aditya could not have been made without the blessings of Amit Shah and thus underline the thought process in the party. If this thought process prevails then we are in for some very interesting permutations and combinations which could be suicidal for a couple of parties.

Is BJP’S Chanakya pushing the Sena to the brink intentionally because otherwise the BJP could have agreed to the 50-50 formula for the CM post as that would have ensured a stable government, giving both coalition partners their due? But, by not agreeing to this arrangement, Shah has stirred the stormy Sena tea cup apart from activating all anti-BJP forces, including the wily fox Sharad Pawar.

So is the Kautilya (Amit Shah) intentionally pushing all parties including the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress to an unlikely alliance which will surely sound the death knell for all of them, given their hostility and opposite political ideology? The question is will Shiv Sena bite the bait along with others or will it grudgingly accept playing second fiddle to BJP in the power play?

Things are sure to take a decisive turn in the next few days. As far as the Congress goes, they are sure to keep out of any alliance but could be forced to lend outside support to a Shiv Sena-NCP alliance if that happens, given Sharad Pawar’s proximity to Sonia. It will be intriguing to see that who blinks first in this political drama.

The Congress would not want to be seen as comprising its vote bank by being part of this alliance and thus would be happy to be a fence sitter lending outside support and pulling the rug according to its convenience. If the Shiv Sena and NCP decide to come together, then all eyes would be on the Congress for its support to sustain the coalition. But can the Shiv Sena afford to take such a gamble by defying the BJP and allying with its foes?

It could win the Sena momentary power and the CM’s chair, which Thackeray so desperately desires, but it could have serious political ramifications for it in Maharashtra in the long run. Shiv Sena and the BJP have been embroiled in a sparring relationship for a few years and their showdown is not new in Maharashtra or national politics.

After this jabbing and exchange of punches, they could well be hugging each other again, as they have so often done in the past, much to the chagrin of their political opponents. But for that to happen, the Kautilya & the Dhritarashtra will have forgo their egos.

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About the Author

Aman Gupta
Political Editor, Samast Bharat magazine