Political potboiler has Maharashtra on the edge

Updated: Nov 12, 2019, 08:39 IST | B A Desai | Maharashtra

The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have sent the state spinning, but contrary to what some think, they will work well together

(Left to Right) Sonia Gandhi, Aaditya Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar
(Left to Right) Sonia Gandhi, Aaditya Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar

Political potboilerThings were straight as a 'jalebi' all of yesterday, as developments in Maharashtra took twists and turns. The government has to be formed and it should be a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government.

President's Rule will simply be Prime Minister's rule as the president will be acting on the PM's behalf. So, in reality, it will be BJP rule, if that happens.

The common sentiment is that the three parties are ideologically different but they can come together to form a government and form a Common Minimum Programme on the basis of which they will work. I endorse the argument that if the BJP and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) could come together, then why not the Shiv Sena and Congress? How can we forget that PDP ran a coalition government in J&K with the BJP? It is the BJP that left the coalition last year.

There are people who scoff that this will not last, but I have no doubt that these three parties will complete the full term. This is because they are principled and sane parties. The main reason behind the BJP-Shiv Sena split was the former calling Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray a liar. This is just not done. It is moral abuse and has proven to be one of the biggest deal-breakers.

The cliché, 'politics makes strange bedfellows' is being used in this context but let us not forget the past. In the 1970s, the Communists and the Janata Party had come together. Now, people are getting antsy about all the time that has elapsed and many are surprised and shocked at the developments.

I have been in politics since 1962. This may seem like a movie, but what do they say about truth being stranger than fiction? Look at how the Israel election imbroglio has been spinning for four months. This is politics, pure and simple, and part of the democratic process.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is backing Sena. When it comes to its chief Sharad Pawar, I have the highest regard for him as a statesman. He loves the people of Maharashtra. In the end, we have seen that it is the BJP that has disqualified the mandate of the people by not forming the government.

Now, we will have to see what its former ally, in the hot seat and on the brink of leading Maharashtra does next. Since we spoke about clichés earlier, this troika — Sena-NCP-Congress will also prove that sometimes three is company and two (BJP-Sena) is a crowd.

As told to Hemal Ashar

B A Desai entered politics in 1962. The former Additional Solicitor General of India (2004-08), he was elected as an MLA from Malabar Hill for four terms. He also used to be an Economics professor at St Xavier's College in Mumbai and a part-time professor of law at Government Law College

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