Who is responsible for giving oxygen to the dying Sonia Congress in Maharashtra?

On one side hubris and on the other is opportunism - the people of Maharashtra are in for interesting times ahead

On one side hubris and on the other is opportunism - the people of Maharashtra are in for interesting times ahead
On one side hubris and on the other is opportunism - the people of Maharashtra are in for interesting times ahead

Now that the drama on the Maharashtra Government formation seems to be coming to an end, the need of the hour is to analyse it and see what the takeaways are.

Who won and who lost?

Prior to the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, the scenario in Maharashtra was as follows – The Shiv Sena was preparing to fight the Parliamentary elections all alone like it did for the Assembly elections of Oct 2014 and some of the Municipal Corporations like Mumbai in 2017.  We understand from sources in Delhi that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) top leadership before the Parliamentary elections had done a survey of the electoral chances in Maharashtra and came to the conclusion that if the Hindutva parties were to go in the elections separately then both will lose and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)/ Indian National Congress (INC) would have an edge over the Hindutva-based parties.  Based on this, it appears that the Prime Minister (PM) intervened and asked Amit Shah to strike a deal with Mr. Uddhav Thackeray at any cost.  The understanding was that for the Parliamentary elections there would be an almost equal sharing of seats but Uddhav Thackeray wanted a composite understanding and insisted on an understanding for the Assembly elections too. Thus, it was agreed by the BJP to have an understanding for Lok Sabha, Assembly, and Govt. formation in Maharashtra; broadly it was a 50:50 sharing formula and a rotation of Chief Ministership of Maharashtra after 2.5 years.  This was confirmed by Mr. Uddhav Thackeray in a conversation to a senior BJP leader separately after the Parliamentary elections of May 2019.

Due to the mismanagement of Maharashtra affairs by some BJP leaders, the Grand Old Party of India has again got a breathing room in the state of Maharashtra. This faux pas on part of BJP means that Congress lives to fight another day.

The BJP leadership in the run-off to the Assembly elections of Oct 2019 was overconfident and reckless.  They ignored some stalwarts in the distribution of BJP Assembly tickets, ignored loyalists and rewarding newcomers and opportunists. In Mumbai city alone, in the last 7 months, 4 senior BJP leaders and Ex-BJP City Presidents have been denied a Parliament Seat and 3 Assembly seats despite all the 4 persons being incumbent MPs or MLAs. The language of the BJP leaders during the elections was shocking.

In the Assembly elections both the Hindutva parties fought together, and the result was below expectations – the BJP got 105 seats and the Shiv Sena, 56.  The results were worse than that of Oct 2014, despite being the incumbent parties. This should have been a warning signal that all is not well in Maharashtra.

The NCP got 54 and Cong 44 seats. The normal method would have been for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance to comfortably form the Govt.  At this stage, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena started making noises on the sharing of power and wanting the Chief Ministership.  The real demand was Shiv Sena wanted the BJP to publicly announce and have a written understanding that after two and a half years, the BJP will agree to a Shiv Sena CM. Both parties should have seen the ground realities and come to an understanding as their performance was worse than that of 2014 and even May 2019 Parliamentary elections, where the alliance was leading in more than 220 Assembly segments.

Split CM-ship was the issue

On this issue, all hell broke loose.  The BJP Information Technology (IT) cell started a campaign to malign the Shiv Sena and various stories were floated that Uddhav Thackeray wanted his son Aditya to be the CM, etc. and all this led to further chaos amongst the Hindutva parties and Mr. Uddhav Thackeray seemed firm to have his share of the victory and not budge from his position.

Perhaps the BJP Central Leadership thought that all this posturing by Shiv Sena was just noise and Shiv Sena will fall in line but it did not happen.  Unlike other BJP leaders who were committed to Hindutva and some alliance parties of BJP elsewhere, the Shiv Sena seems to be made of tougher leadership and not ready to compromise and therefore, they did not budge.  Although Uddhav Thackeray may have a genuine grouse of not getting a fair share of Ministers in Delhi and also not being treated well as part of the coalition govt in Maharashtra, he was ready to go to any extent to ensure that Shiv Sena was relevant.

What happened in 2014?

It would be worth noting that in 2014, first Mr. Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the Chief Minister without having majority of MLAs with him; Shiv Sena had been kept out of the Govt. formation and if we remember correctly, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray wanted to keep away from the swearing-in-ceremony at Wankhede Stadium but agreed to attend at the last moment.

Thereafter in 2014, it appears that due to intervention of Dr. Subramanian Swamy and the Sangh Parivar, Uddhav Thackeray agreed to be part of the Hindutva Govt in Maharashtra.  Some top BJP leaders were then toying with the idea of a ministry with the NCP even in 2014.

During the 2014 to 2019 period, we saw many ups and downs in the relations between BJP and Shiv Sena and now fast forward to Nov 2019.

Game of Numbers

It was always a Game of Numbers. In the first round, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis failed to form the Govt, then a chance was given to Shiv Sena and they sought extra time; the same was repeated with NCP and finally, President’s rule was imposed with the assembly kept under suspended animation.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena was drifting away from Hindutva Politics veering towards the NCP and Congress and was on the verge of formation of Govt as announced by them in a Press conference at Mumbai on 22nd November 2019.

Suddenly there were confabulations during the night; perhaps some top BJP leaders thought of playing some games and quickly had President Rule revoked using the PM’s special powers under rule 12 of Transaction of Business. In the dark of the night, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar got together and staked a claim to form the Govt and the Governor accepted it too! Both were sworn in on 23rd Nov 2019, without the world realising what had happened and how they had got together.  If they really had a majority, then what was the haste to do things, that too clandestinely? Many Mumbaikars woke up on the morning of 23rd Nov with disbelief and not understanding the real meaning of what had happened while they slept.

Now that the game has collapsed it is time to fix the responsibility for whose hare-brained idea it was that caused this fiasco.

It is a Democracy!

If a group does not have a majority so be it! Horse-trading and other similar methods will not really help in the long run… Either you have a majority or you don’t!

All news and theory, bravado talks & painting some leaders as being larger than life, are useless. The Game of numbers in formation of any Govt at State and Centre is the floor test as laid down by various judgments of the Supreme Court from time to time starting with the Famous Bommai case of Karnataka.  And this is what happened in Maharashtra too when the Supreme Court expedited the Floor Test.

Make people accountable

It is time to make people accountable and punish those responsible for the fiasco of not having a Hindutva Govt in Maharashtra. What should have been a stable government has now become an opportunistic government. Worse, BJP lost a Hindutva friend, that too in the state that has the financial capital of the country.

In the past, the BJP has formed governments in Uttar Pradesh with opponents like Mayawati and with Kumaraswamy in Karnataka where both the non-BJP leaders ended up being the CM.  BJP accepted Mufti & later on Mehbooba Mufti as the CM of J & K and shared power with them.  The Mufti-family run party, the PDP, was totally opposed to the views of Hindutva of BJP. Similarly, the BJP is in Govt with Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (U) in Bihar despite Nitish in the past having formed a ministry with Lalu Prasad Yadav.

What stopped the BJP from walking the extra mile to reach out to the Shiv Sena who were the blood brothers of Hindutva since 1984 Parliamentary elections? In late 1984, Mr Pramod Mahajan had reached out to Balasaheb Thackeray on the prodding of A B Vajpayee as Balasaheb had reached out to Dr. Subramanian Swamy (the then Janata Party MP from North East Mumbai) by inviting him to the annual Dussehra rally on 11th Oct 1984 at Shivaji Park, where a first South Indian and non-Maharashtrian, Dr. Swamy spoke from the Shiv Sena platform. BJP leaders sensing that Balasaheb Thackeray and Dr. Swamy will team up, befriended Shiv Sena to thwart the coming together of Dr. Swamy and Balasaheb. Anyway, that is history now.

The last few days have dented BJP’s reputation

Now let us analyse the events of the last few days – the BJP, by teaming up with Ajit Pawar, who it called corrupt and all sorts of names during the last 8 years has given Ajit Pawar & the NCP some respectability. In the process, the credibility of the BJP is dented by this short tie-up with Ajit Pawar.  It has also damaged the image of the BJP top leadership and the Prime Minister who was perhaps misled. On the other hand, the BJP had awarded Padma Vibhushan to Sharad Pawar; the PM praised Sharad Pawar’s party for good behaviour in the Parliament and in the past the PM when he was a CM had said that he looked towards Sharad Pawar for inspiration.  All this has added to the confusion of the people of Maharashtra.

In the coming months, it will be difficult for BJP to talk of Ajit Pawar & NCP corruption and campaign against it after having tried to form the Govt with them.

There are reports in some newspapers of the RSS Chief having advised Devendra Fadnavis in the first week of November not to be in hurry to form Govt in Maharashtra without having a majority and to reach out to Shiv Sena to form the Govt[1].

The Congress in the country and especially Maharashtra was fast sinking.  Rahul had abdicated his post and Sonia was ineffective in electoral politics.  Due to the mismanagement of Maharashtra affairs by some BJP leaders, the Grand Old Party of India has again got a breathing room in the state of Maharashtra. This faux pas on part of BJP means that Congress lives to fight another day.

The Shiv Sena too should not have drifted from the Hindutva Group. By joining hands with the NCP and INC, they have also sullied their Hindutva image. Both are unreliable partners in the long run and could ditch the Shiv Sena at the first opportunity.  It is time for the BJP also to realise that it was a mistake to lose a like-minded sibling.  In Politics, one can never rule anything out.

References:

[1] No horse-trading, no poaching: Mohan Bhagwat tells Fadnavis to not form govt without SenaNov 7, 2019, MumbaiMirror.com

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Disagree.
    Priyanka Chaturvedi from congress came to SS. Possibly this was planned earlier. SS is known as Hafta vasooli party. Even with Hindutva brand, they would continue their style. i.e. Hindutva just becomes different brand of congress style. For India to progress, the hafta vasooli can not go on. SS started as regional force like Karnataka Rakshana vedike (which can be contracted with creating riots). RSS turned them nationalist. Now, considering that there is no space, SS moved back to their old way. Most important thing is to ensure that idea and ideology remains and social base remains. Losing power temporarily is ok. Only thing is groom some ‘local brand leaders’ who should be allowed to openly disagree with BJP’s central leadership.

  2. Its clearly UDDHAV ANTONIA MAINO VINCI who is responsible, with TAIMUR PAWAR, I feel authors should read the article on Canary Trap.com. NCP IS OUT AND OUT DAWOOD OUTFIT. And Dawood , Vatican, ISI played a huge role, with the PIZZRO Christians called Commies, that #raktbeejbarhmin prd of RAZAKARS AND mamamia SHITPAN Lechury and Klannist, Conquistador, Racism, Nazism, communism combined called #whiteIMPALER D.Raja might have played Shakuni role

  3. It is #whitechriistianIMPLARISM and the #whiteRAKTBEEJBrahmins and #whiteRaktbeejpakipanjabis WHO want the blame game. Typical Respected Dr Swamy double speak. IF anybody HAS Given Oxygen to the #whiteChristianIMPALERISM #PIZZARODRACULAISM it is the Xtian n their sluts prd OUTSIDERS, the ONLY REAL OUTSIDERS in INDIA #PizzaroNazism in their DNA THE SYRIANS, PORTUGUESE, PAKIPANJABI PORKIS AND OFFCOURSE THE #Raktbeejbrahmins, the converts and hybrids of #WhiteIMPALER..Instead of classic double speak of forked tongue #PizzaroNazi #Taimurists #raktbeej beefbrahmins and pakipanjabis would know that it is DAWOOD who ensured this. Sharad Pawar IS DAWOOD OUTFIT JUST LIKE #ITALIANINQUISTOR #WHITENAZI ANTONIA and the bstds are always w=better Pizzaros than worst conquistadr genocidal maniacs..JUST LIKE THEIR BSTD PRD #RAKTBEEJ PAKISTANI PUNJABIS AND BEEFBRAHMINS FILLING THE MEDIA
    Its a #raktbeejbrahmin was against an EBC HINDU PM as they have a history of throwing the community, religion, country to enemies and dogs just to spite the others. Now I think that Hindus themselves have to see the Naradhami evilest species Xtians,#raktbeej pakipanjabis and beefbrahmions (all bastards of white barbarian Xtian Dracula), need to be removed and removed forcefully.OUT of these #rakbeehbrahmins are worst they will demonize their own Vedic Brahmin community just to be counted as best white forskin worshippers.compared to pakistanis

  4. I am a regular reader PGurus and an ardent admirer of Team PGurus. However, in this article, the author seems to be biased, partisan and ignorant of Historical facts. Like creating Bhinderwale to counter Akalis in Punjab, Congress created Shivasena in Maharastra to counter militant Trade unionist 1960-70s which was controlling the Trade Unions in the then Bombay. After effectively controlling the Trade Unions Shivasena focussed its ire towards South Indians and later on North Indians who were all Hindus. It’s philosophy parochial Maratha Manush and Bombay is only for the Marathis and all outsiders should quit. Because of this philosophy, it became unpopular and started losing base. Fortunately, for it, the Ayodhya issue came and it grabed the opportunity and started projecting itself as a Hindu Nationalist party. Its history had been always opportunist. Shivasena supported emergency in 70s, oppsed Jaiprakash Narayan’s sampoorna krnati. Supported Supriya sule, as Rajyasbha candidate and Prativa Patil and Pranav Mukherjee as Presidential candidate being a part of NDA. During assembly election Campign, Devendra Fadnavis all along was being projected as CM candidate and SS never opposed but after the result was out and found that BJP cannot form Govt without its support of SS, Uddhav Thakrey started blackmailing BJP. Therfore I disgree with the Author BJP is responsible for the breakup and of the firm opinion that it was SS and its oppotunism which broke the alliance.

  5. It is nothing but PAWAR PARIWAR politics. Blood is thicker than water. Pawar family is close to Thackeray’s family. Most important is to keep Devendra Fadnavis out of CM post. Because he is a talented brahmin. Rest is greed of SS

  6. This is wrong statement to say that BJP IT cell started maligning image of SS by saying that Uddhav wants his son to be CM.SS had erect some flex posters in Worli area stating that Aditya Thakare is new CM. Sena was silent when Modi ji,Shahaji,in number of campaign rallies had declared that if Mahayuti wins,it will be Phadanvis for CM. Udhav Thaakare was present many rallies and he never objected to it.SS started monkey game only after results were declared and it realized that BJP can not form the Govt on its own and thus started this new theory of Shaha’s indoor meeting.BJP should not have gone with SS in this election and should have fought alone and I am sure it would have got at least 150 seats and this is confirmed when we look at striking rate of BJP.In last 5 years SS was in power but it was always trying to go against BJP by issuing statements against central leadership and state leadership every now and then.

  7. Well balanced article.B.j.P might have been unhappy with the strong criticisms in SAMNA.But top leaders should have sat together and sorted out the differences.Though mr.Udhav Thackeray is the C.M on paper Mr.Sharad Pawar will be the defacto C.M and he will take all possible actions to get an upper hand in Maharashtra. I will not be surprised if he repeats the 1978 episode .B.J.P should be careful not to fall in his trap.

  8. Can this author(s) cite one example when a SS leader asked votes claiming that a Shiv Sainik will be a CM during the last election? Or one example of a SS leader protesting when the BJP was asking for votes claiming Fadnavis will be the CM of Maharashtra? Is it possible for a party to stay silent if there was an understanding of sharing CM-ship 2.5 years each? Uddhav Thackeray never showed any interest even in contesting an election. So it is natural that he would want Aaditya to be CM. Uddhav agreed to become a CM only because Congress/NCP rejected 29 years old Aaditya as CM.

  9. Shiv Sena was like a monkey on BJP’s back. Its good that they are where they belong. They are rightly called ‘Sonia Sena’ now. Although, this whole fiasco and embarrassment could have been easily avoided. I don’t know why BJP didn’t learnt from Karnataka. BJP has once again snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    Personally, I think this article was written by Swamy Sir himself or was posted after his personal review. He should know that SS was never Hindutva party. After fall of Babri Masjid, all BJP leaders were afraid of taking credit and Bal Thackrey in his own style took credit and became Hindutva icon. Thackrey always wanted to be part of every controversy. Most say SS was created by Congress to counter Communist Unions in Mumbai. So, I think finally SS is back where it started, its full circle.

    Thackrey was a hooligan and never got more than 100 seats in Maharastra ever. Twice BJP has fought under Modi and both times they got 100+. Its good alliance is over. However, BJP should stop running behind power so desperately. Its truly embarrassing.

  10. The entire blame has to go to SONIYA SENA. The lust for CM seat, which they do not deserve under any circumstance, led them to back stab hindus. People say a lot about CM Fadnavis but there are few points that needs to understood.
    1) It was Sena who back stabbed BJP by supporting Bahujan Vikas AGHADI candidate against BJP candidate by openly support BVA candidate.
    2) Sena, had it not been for PM Modi and HM Shah canvasing for NDA candidates non of Sena candidate would have won. Remember it was the NDA block that people voted for not for SONIA SENA.
    3) Do you really think that a party that looses its seat right where MATOSHREE is placed they have any right to ask for CMs position.
    Remember people voted for NDA candidate. Hindus voted SENA CANDIDATE for a Hindu Rashtra candidate else how many seats do you think SENA would have won on their own.

    • GOOD RIDDANCE.THe Last five years SS had attacked BJP and MODI JI day in and day out with some ulterior motives.After Modi took over BJP became a senior partner in the coalition. Yes BJP has made many mistakes including allowing Swamyji to come to BJP fold and given him MP position Knowing him fully well.

      • Disagree with your observation. You are another one of those who pre-judge people. Politics is murky and India serves an extra dosage of murkiness. Most Politicians in India say one thing and do the exact opposite (like this episode – imagine if Ajay Pawar ends up being Deputy CM). Be happy that Swamy is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). No other politician in India has the means/ intelligence/ hard work to accomplish even 10% of what he has achieved. First, realise if you have the Adhikara to judge a person of Dr. Swamy’s stature.

  11. Did not expect a stupid article from Pgurus, I guess when you support Shiv Sena your mind gets clouded.

    BJP were fair in the dealing in the first part, won % more seats than the Sainiks but greed blinded the Sena.
    In the second part, BJP were screwed up by Pawar and lost a bit of face. The loss will be made up when the coalition government falls and BJP routs the Sena in the next round of elections.

    • Didn’t expect stupid comment either…
      When Hindutva is concerned a balance has to be thought of.
      In what way has shivsena shown it’s less than hindutva of BJP?
      Who knows they might even prove to be better hindutva people than BJP which might turn out to be a concern for BJP in future…
      Hindutva is not just meant for BJP alone,
      Even shivsena might work for its hindutva vote base.
      They went as a family to Ayodhya n performed pooja there…
      Fednavis wife was only interested in celebrating xmas on the very first year of fadnavis election….

      To me Brahmins are just Hindu Brahmins…
      I believe Brahmins were entrusted with protection of Hindu dharma at any cost n not to act secular or convert … They lose their identity that way.

      Brahmins can be anything in their professional life but their sole purpose in life is to safeguard and protect Hindu dharma..
      They lose this n they lose their identity…

      • I am surprised that you are still supporting Shiv Sena’s Hindutva agenda when the party has compromised enough even to remove “Shiv” from the coalition name and agreeing to be ‘Secular” even to abandon the idea of going to Ayodhya and agreeing to five percent reservation for the Muslims.

        • But on this, RSS support muslim professor in Banaras teaching Hindu dharma shastra. Fadnavsi wife associated with Christmas celebrations more than Hindu festivals is fact. Modi is doing more Gandhi bhajan than Congress itself. I do not think BJP is more Hindu. In general, we want nationalist party. I am concerned more about maoists in rural areas, urban naxals in both, Jesus sellers in both, Islamic sleeper cells.. What is the impact on them at ground level is puzzle.

  12. It’s high time, BJP leadership did a Visioning Exercise again. It’s important to identify the core values that will be the backbone of the party. Winning at all cost is what Congress practiced and we’ve now seen, where this policy has brought them to. If BJP is going to follow the same, it’s only time that BJP will find themselves at the same position, where Congress is currently. Leaders can’t be bigger than the party. Ithihas has taught us that when the power gets to rulers, their fall is imminent. What is shocking is that the leaders, who preach others on Hindutva have not learnt this and more importantly, not applied it to their way of life. Electorate may be Illiterate, but they’re not idiots. Central leadership should wake up and wake up quick, before it becomes too late. Modi has lost his sheen and what can save BJP is only Results. Put actions where the words are and focus on delivering on your promises. It’s as simple as that.

    • Respect core values of BJP… Rightly said…
      No person is above the party…
      You have to give in to a few things (demands of shivsena) to get better things (atleast 2.5 years of rule )

      • I disagree with you.

        शिवसेना is a good riddance.

        शिवसेना is a saffronized version of ‘Corrupt Congress’ & ‘Mafia NCP’.

        Right from Bal Thackeray days शिव सेना is a party of Hooligans, Marauders, Vandals & Dacoits

        If you observe the Roads, Water Supply, Unauthorized Constructions & other infrastructure in Mumbai, you will say Shavsena is a Doctorate in corruption while Congress is just Master.

        There are 3 main grouses of Shavsena against BJP:

        1. Demonetization completely wiped off the the looted treasury of Shavsena

        2. Open loots & corrupt practices (which were possible by Bal Thackeray & gang during Atalji’s days – being in a dependant mode) virtually became impossible under Modi-Shah

        3. Shavsena was fast loosing base across Maharashtra & BJP has become the BIG BROTHER now from its previous JUNIOR PARTNER status.

        IF THIS TREND CONTINUES, WITHIN A DECADE, SHAVSENA WOULD HAVE BECOME A SINGLE DIGIT PARTY.

        Hence उद्धव wanted to assert his supremacy & indulged in this foolish adventure.

        It may take a few months before this idiot’s Government comes crashing down.

        Already the criminals Pawars & the Congress are in a weak wicket. It won’t be a big task for BJP to topple the impoverished Sena like they did in karnataka

        • Agreed. Just that BJP should rush. Introspect on its core. Wait for right time. Even during this time, control govt through past connections ex: if there is hint of compromises in home ministry, school education content, church activities etc. it has to control covertly and also openly as opposition. BJP can allow them to make small mistakes for political gains, but shouldn’t allow Church or other long term evils.

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