Who is responsible for the President's Rule in Maharashtra?
In the last few days, people are discussing Maharashtra Politics everywhere they go. Social Media, Offices, Homes, Clubs wherever they go they are either blaming Shivsena or BJP for the ongoing Political crisis in Maharashtra. Being active on Twitter, I could see opposite trends like #MaharashtrawithShivsena and #ShivsenacheatsMaharashtra simultaneously. Those who hated Shivsena for hooliganism were trending #Shivsenacheatsbalasaheb as if they appreciated Balasaheb Thackeray's Politics when he was alive. Everyone knows there are only two major groups in India now. They are Pro-Modi and Anti-Modi groups. We clearly know who was tweeting what? BJP supporters tried their best to blame Shivsena for President's Rule in Maharashtra. Congress also gave them a chance to blame Congress for not co-operating Shivsena-NCP to form the Government.
Some showed sympathy to Shivsena as they felt that NCP and Congress played a big game with Shivsena and brainwashed it to broke the 30-years old alliance with BJP. Some called Shivsena power-hungry party whose stubbornness lead to political instability in Maharashtra and some blamed BJP who cheated Shivsena by not fulfilling their promises it made before fighting the elections. We saw many debates on Media in which Shivsena-BJP was collectively blamed by eminent reporters as they disrespected the mandate given to Mahayuti. The mandate of voters to NCP and Congress was also very clear. They made opposition strong so that BJP will stop taking Voters for granted. Hence whoever is blaming NCP and Congress for this fiasco should understand that they shouldn't be blamed in the first place.
In the last five years we have seen many instances where Shivsena and BJP came face to face. Shivsena not only acted as an alliance but also as an opposition. That's the reason why dirty verbal fights between ex-Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadanvis and Shivsena Chief Uddhav Thackrey made headlines before BMC elections. They came together for power and Shivsena made its Mayor somehow but seeds of discontent were already sown. Shivsena was a big brother in the alliance in the struggling days of BJP but after 2014 Modi-Shah duo took BJP to new heights by winning one after one election and forming their Government in several states. With increased power, their arrogance started to increase and they started disrespecting and humiliating their alliance partners in every possible way. Before the 2019 Loksabha election, Shivsena was convinced to fight elections on lesser seats than what they demanded and also made to leave some of their important seats for BJP where Shivsena was stronger. For this, Amit Shah and Devendra Fadanvis promised Shivsena in front of Media that after the Assembly Elections of Maharashtra there will be 50:50 distribution of power between them which also included 2.5 yrs of Chief Ministership. After results, BJP took U-turn completely and also tried to declare that Uddhav Thackeray is a liar and BJP didn't promise anything like that. Thanks to anti-BJP people video of Devendra Fadanvis's Promises is circulating on Social Media from the last 15 days and people are aware that what Shivsena claimed was right. This feud became dirtier when Sanjay Raut started opened his motormouth with tall claims of having 175 MLAs support to form the Government. BJP was wise enough to understand that Shivsena has decided to move on so it showed inability to form the Government.
As per the rule, Governor of Maharashtra invited second-largest party Shivsena on the same day and gave it only 24 hrs. Some say BJP got 72 hrs and others say 48 hrs; whatever number of hours it is, Shivsena wasn't given enough time to gather requisite support letters to form the Government. Aditya Thackeray's claim that they reached within time and claimed 'in principle' was made a mockery by Twitter by trending #AnjanaMaafiWapisLo. Tweeple started calling Anjana Om Kashyap an Astrologer because she predicted that Aditya Thackeray will become 'Rahul Gandhi' of Shivsena. The biggest joke of that day was Sanjay Raut who was in forefront of talks with NCP got admitted to Lilavati for Angiography and angioplasty and Uddhav Thackeray had to contact both Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi on phone to plead for their support. Shivsainiks who had a habit of seeing these leaders coming on the doors of Matoshree bungalow to get support from Balasaheb Thackeray; saw the completely opposite picture that day. Media misguided them by breaking news that Congress has shown their support from outside and Shivsena can form Government with their own Chief Minister after a long time now. They started celebrating, bursting crackers, distributing sweets and raising slogans like Shivsena Jidhabad, Uddhav Thackeray Zindabad, Aditya Thackeray Zindabad, etc. That celebration short-lived as Congress and NCP both didn't give their support letters having signatures of MLAs with their names, party names, constitution numbers, etc. There was no unity between Congress leaders. 35 of 44 Congress MLAs wanted to be part of the government while the rest of the MLAs were against it. A news channel even claimed that Congress wanted Deputy Chief Minister position for full time if Shivsena and NCP decide to make their Chief Ministers for 2.5 years each. Anti-BJP Media claimed that 6 MLAs who left NCP wanted to return and some of the Congress MLAs were also in contact with them to help them form the Government but that too was a rumour.
Fearing that Amit Shah will break MLAs of Shivsena by horse-trading Shivsena kept their MLAs in Madh Island while Congress kept in Jaipur till Governor started inviting parties to form the Government. When Shivsena failed to prove its majority, Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshiyari invited NCP which is a third-largest party after assembly elections. Now the real problem for Shivsena started because they realized that ball in no more in Sharad Pawar's court. Congress President Sonia Gandhi came into the picture. After a meeting with the core committee of Congress in Delhi, she sent some senior leaders to Mumbai to discuss how a new equation of MahaShivAghadi can be formed. NCP had a deadline of 8:30 p.m.but it made the same mistake that Shivsena made. It asked for extra time by meeting Governor in the afternoon and as per rule to avoid possible horse-trading Governor immediately submitted a report to President Ramnath Kovind and requested for President's Rule in Maharashtra. NCP's attempt to form the Govt failed in 18 hrs as President's Rule started in Maharashtra in the evening itself. in the joint press conference of Congress and NCP, they claimed that Congress is yet to take any decision whether it should accept Shivsena as an ally. Shivsena propagated the philosophy of Hindutva while Congress is known for its Secularism. Congress not only wanted to be a part of the Government but also take the limelight on it when it realized that Sharad Pawar was becoming Hero by making the impossible possible. All these three anti-BJP parties couldn't form Government and President's Rule brought BJP in the game again.
Now as there is President's Rule in Maharashtra, we are expecting that before 6 months some alliance will be formed and it will claim for the Government again. If that claim is rejected, we may face re-election which is a very costly affair for the tax-payers. I will write a separate post on the permutations and combinations of Government formation in Maharashtra. To end the post, I would like to end this post with a quote from MNS Chief Raj Thackeray -"Imposition of President's Rule is an insult to the Voters of Maharashtra"