Will BJP give NCP-Cong-Sena a chance to create Ramrajya?
It is time to give the people of Maharashtra a stable government, be it the NCP-Shiv Sena alliance or the troika formation
Did you vote this time? If so, then, you must be asking yourself, why? Three weeks after the poll results, there is no government in sight despite the voters giving a clear-cut verdict that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance stayed in the government. Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP pact, a much bigger alliance than 2014, kept the rulers examined and punished for wrongdoings. The turn of events since October 24 is in complete contrast of the verdict given by the BJP-Sena supporters, who must be cursing themselves for going out to vote.
The Sena broke away from the BJP because it blocked Uddhav Thackeray's undying quest for the CM's post. BJP didn't relent even when Thackeray showed no sign of rapprochement. With a sole purpose of keeping the BJP away, the Sena president went closer to the anti-BJP parties, which have the numbers that can boost the Sena's dream. Parleys are being held to keep the unexpected tri-party arrangement — some call it unholy axis — afloat for governing the state in future. Let's see if it happens, sooner or later, or else the state continues to be governed by the President before another election to the Assembly is held.
Ram Rajya on offer
Magnanimous in their approach to get power, the parties seemed to have buried their ideological differences for talking terms and common minimum programme. They have ample reasons to do so, because of the past instances in which the secular and non-secular parties had joined hands to make state governments, not only in Maharashtra but also in other states. References are being made to such unholy pacts, forgetting the fact that they didn't last long, and the respective voters were faced with mid-term polls. Either such governments fell because of the bickering or were dismissed by the Centre. But the resolve that the three-party leaders have been showing is nothing short of an assurance of giving Maharashtra a Ram Rajya, wherein everything will be hunky-dory once they together come to power.
A non-BJP leader told this columnist, "Imagine a situation wherein every constituency has a voice that can reach out to the government." When asked how, he said, "The Congress and NCP have fought against the BJP and Sena. The two Congress are still in a coalition, so they will be there in every segment. And, the Sena will also be everywhere because it was part of a pre-poll alliance with BJP, and people have also voted for the Sena where the BJP contested," he said. Where will the BJP, which has 119 (including the Independents), stand in this situation? The leader said, "BJP will be nowhere. We will ensure that BJP sits in the Opposition and does not get any credit for the work we do. Isn't it wow?"
The 'wow' that the leader has on its mind appears to be simply fantastic, because the tri-party government hasn't taken over the state yet, and even if it does, the BJP won't sit idle. Having blessed by the Centre, we might see the state's pack of MLAs doing what they have been best at — bulldoze the government from the Opposition benches. But before they sit in the Opposition, it would be interesting to see whether the BJP allows the Sena-NCP-Congress to claim the singhasan for delivering a dream Ram Rajya. Experts expect a political Mahabharat to take place before a three-party arrangement scripts a modern Ramayana. The BJP has mastered the art of lodging and dislodging governments. The party might not go for the conventional ways of instating its own in Maharashtra anytime soon. We should expect it do something hatke this time around.
Don't deceive; deliver
Whatever they do in the garb of public welfare, the principal parties shouldn't deceive the voters who have voted very intelligently. The people grounded the ambitious BJP in giving a fractured mandate, but they also ensured that the saffron alliance went through safely to rule the government for another five years. The outcome underlined a message that the parties in the government sorted their differences amicably and worked cohesively to go back to the people again in 2024 to seek votes. The Opposition was handed more representation and extra power for auditing the government's performance and stake claim to the people's blessings in 2024. The political course might have changed in 24 days since, but the public message is still loud and clear. The people want a stable and working government installed at the earliest, be it BJP and Sena's or the troika formation. And if that doesn't happen or fails when it happens, be ready for yet another election schedule.
Dharmendra Jore is political editor, mid-day. He tweets @dharmendrajore
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