A party that claims to have a strong, decisive national leadership is facing a strange crisis in the state. It has no potential CM candidate unlike the Lok Sabha campaign’s singular focus on Modi as PM no clue on how many seats to contest and whether to contest them in alliance with Shiv Sena or to fight it out alone.
The BJP has more MPs (23) in Maharashtra than the Shiv Sena (18); all of its MPs have won by vote margins greater than 1 lakh as compared to the Sena’s six MPs who managed such wins. Yet, it lets the latter play big brother. The party is indecisive about how many seats to contest estimated range from 130 to 145. They don’t know whether to keep the alliance with the Sena or go it alone. The national president comes to Mumbai and ignores the Sena. The very next day, the BJP state leadership holds meetings on seat-sharing with the same ignored partner.
Despite holding several meetings for the last three months, no seat-sharing formula has been worked out. One fine day, all talks with the Sena are stopped.
The BJP may be unhappy that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has thrown his hat in the ring as a candidate for the CM’s chair, but they have failed to put up a candidate of their own. Even in the assembly polls, they had planned to garner votes on Modi’s name they have no face for their campaign in the state.
The late Gopinath Munde used to tackle the alliance partners, but with his passing, the void is left unfilled. Even as the party’s cadre is rallying behind the cause of snapping ties with Shiv Sena, the state leadership is shying away from it.
Less than a week is left to file nominations for the poll. If the party can’t decide what to do within its own ranks, it is setting a bad example for itself.
Modi was voted in because people wanted a leader who would take decisions. Ironically, the BJP may suffer in Maharashtra due to its inability to make the right choices.