Shiv Sena – because they have achieved what they wanted and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has realised that for his party and his son, a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance is more suited because of the ideology and improved relations with top BJP leadership, they have not much demands at Centre and is well contented with control over Mumbai Municipal Corporation. Shiv Sena can now easily contend for a Deputy Chief Minister (CM) post for Aditya Thackeray and a lion’s share in the Maharashtra Cabinet and good ministries at Centre also. Uddhav and his long term dream of Shiv Sena to have Thackeray as CM has also been fulfilled.
Raj Thackeray is also an opponent who is not leaving and is garnering sufficient base in Municipal elections which will dent future prospects of Shiv Sena which Uddhav would want to stop by forming an alliance with the BJP. Uddhav has also realised that the image of Sharad Pawar with so many allegations of corruption and of Ajit Pawar with ongoing investigations is detrimental to Aditya Thackeray’s future prospects and therefore, would want to part ways with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Is Pawar letting Pawar fall?
There is strong dissent and disquiet in NCP too, with Sharad Pawar wanting the reins of NCP as the post of party President to go to his nephew Ajit Pawar and Chief Ministership to go to daughter Supriya Sule so that she firms up her grip on the party. Ajit Pawar will again want to be No: 2 with complete grip over the party and doesn’t want to cut a sorry figure like last time. Moreover, new cases have been registered against Ajit Pawar by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for money laundering through corruption. Slowly and steadily as agencies are proceeding, he is realising that his days are numbered. If he is charge-sheeted then his political career will be in jeopardy. In politics, one has to survive in the present rather than wait for the future! So Ajit Pawar may spring a surprise at any time.
Close confidants say, Sharad Pawar nowadays seems not very interested in Ajit Pawar and the cases registered against him as his downfall will bring Supriya Sule at the forefront of NCP which can become a reason for dissent.
BJP wants the reins in Maharashtra
For BJP, Maharashtra is an important State and they feel cheated. Despite being the single largest party with 105 seats and 25.6 percent vote share they are in the opposition. They want to rectify the position and take over the government as elections are more than 4 years away.
BJP also knows that this contradictory alliance between extreme ideologies and a headstrong person like Uddhav Thackeray, this Government can fall anytime on any issue. Uddhav can’t be a backbencher or at receiving end for long. He can’t be dictated or brushed aside. He can’t be a mute spectator to the issues and controversies and allegations of corruption that are flying all over.
Uddhav Thackeray’s friendly meeting with Narendra Modi and his MLC nomination and his silence in the party organ Saamna on BJP and Modi have deep meaning. He tweeted and thanked Modi and said Modi is his “Big brother” in November 2019 when he took oath as Chief Minister. Lately, the comments of Rahul Gandhi of not being key decision-maker in Maharashtra Government in this time of crisis is very likely to create a rift in the fledgling alliance.
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