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Reserved apex court verdict throws up many possibilities

Updated on: 20 March,2023 05:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dharmendra Jore |

Political corridors are abuzz with activity overload while party workers are confused and the bureaucracy is wondering which way the wind will blow

Reserved apex court verdict throws up many possibilities

All eyes are now on the Supreme Court regarding the fate of Maharashtra’s government. File pic

What does the Supreme Court hold for Maharashtra’s political parties? That’s the question the corridors of power have been facing ever since the apex court completed the hearing in the case of the Shiv Sena faction feud and subsequent change of guard at Mantralaya last June. The oral observations the court made and the questions it raised during the hearing, especially in its last two days, have prompted many to predict the outcome even as the court has reserved its judgment in a bouquet of petitions it has been hearing for nine months. Predictions are a mixed bag, preparing the parties to meet any political eventuality.

Some see the collapse of the government coming, some see the government escaping the fall even if the Shinde faction MLAs are disqualified, some see the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) taking control of the government by stitching the required majority to make Devendra Fadnavis the new chief minister, some even see Shinde continuing as the CM even if he gets disqualified as an MLA. Some see the president’s rule coming and some simply foresee the court verdict going in favour of the current government, rendering all hypothesis dead. Yet, the uncertainty can be seen in the anxious inquiries being made by politicians, common people and the bureaucracy, including the lower level of the workforce which is on strike these days. The protesters have been looking at the current situation as an apt opportunity to force the government to meet their demand for the old pension scheme, knowing that the elections will be announced very soon, and no party can afford to upset the voters, however small or big their numbers are.

BJP is geared up

In fact, everyone in politics is on play, gathering steam to vent when the right opportunity comes knocking. As usual, the BJP hasn’t stopped being in election mode. The party has geared up to counter the challenges the Maha Vikas Aghadi has proposed to throw at it. The BJP’s state President Chandrashekhar Bawankule stirred up a hornet’s nest when he said the party was prepared to contest 240 Assembly seats, leaving only 48 for the Shinde Sena to set up its candidates in the alliance for the Vidhan Sabha polls. The rage was palpable in the Shinde camp. The BJP deleted Bawankule’s video from social media in quick time. But will the BJP be able to delete the perception of doubt in the Shinde group? This happened with regard to the Assembly polls. The Lok Sabha elections, slated to be held six months before the state polls, haven’t come up for discussion yet, though the BJP has made it clear that it has been working on the seats where it has been losing in Maharashtra.

Also Read: Maharashtra: For first time in 30 years, a three-pronged threat for the Thackerays

MVA partners united in fight

Posturing in the MVA is confusing for the partners as well as for others outside the coalition. Three parties have come together to reach out to the people from April, but speculations over the formula they will work on to share seats, continues to flummox their respective workers. The parties deny the media leaks, most of the time passed on deliberately with vested interest. The Congress had to emphasise at once, when its Lok Sabha share next year was reported to be less than 10 seats, that it wasn’t a minnow anymore.

To indicate its upper hand, thanks to Rahul Gandhi’s image reversal, the national party insiders have been saying that they will be in a position to win over 100 Assembly seats in Maharashtra next year, and in no way would they  settle for the number of seats that have been reported in a section of the media. Internal tussle notwithstanding, the MVA partners seem to be on the same page when it comes to creating the impression that they will be together in fighting the BJP. So far so good. Nobody knows what comes next, to bind or break their unity. It’s a courting time, indeed.

Dharmendra Jore is political editor, mid-day. He tweets @dharmendrajore
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