A month ago no one would have imagined in their wildest dreams, in relation to politics, that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would end up in the spot where he probably either would not be Chief Minister of Maharashtra at all or chances are that if he does becomes, he will not complete the 5 year term that he dreamt off, provided Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray has his way.
THE DEADLOCK BETWEEN BJP AND SHIV SENA
Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray had his eyes on making a Sainik Chief Minister close to Maharashtra going to polls. He had publicly sent the hint to its ally, BJP when Uddhav Thackeray said that he had promised Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray that he would make a Sainik Chief Minister of Maharashtra and he would fulfil this promise.
No one, and definitely not Devendra Fadnavis would have imagined that the moment to fulfil the promise could well be in these polls itself. The BJP that was gunning at getting a majority on its own landed up winning 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly. In comparison it had won 122 seats in 2014. The Shiv Sena has won 56 seats while the NCP has won 54 and Congress 44. In fact, it is NCP’s gain that has been BJP’s loss in the polls this year. The tussle now is that Uddhav Thackeray says Amit Shah had promised him equal power sharing, including two-and-a-half years of chief ministership for each. But there is absolute silence from Amit Shah or BJP HQ in Delhi on this stand. As of now, Uddhav Thackeray refuses to speak to Devendra Fadnavis , insisting that he would speak only to Amit Shah, according to sources.
The story of Devendra Fadnavis’ political graph going downhill should be a lesson for all those who think that replicating Prime Minister Modi will make them like him. Taking a leaf from the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha campaign, Devendra Fadnavis too ran a similar campaign for himself in Maharashtra, rather arrogantly saying – ‘punha meech’ in all posters. In fact he had even written a poem on coming back as Chief Minister long before the state went to polls. Even the Prime Minister had not said that he would be back with such assertion like Devendra Fadnavis did, many terming his attitude as both over confidence and arrogant. Unfortunately, the country brought back the Prime Minister is with thumping majority but Maharashtra did not give its Janadesh to Devendra Fadnavis, establishing that there can be but just one Narendra Modi.
Right from the moment he became Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, he started alienating both his rivals and even allies. He first ran a Modi style government, by bringing all powers within the CMO and surrounding himself with bureaucrats. And in 5 years, he removed Eknath Khadse and Pankaja Munde from their ministries when their names cropped up in scams. He continued this to the allotment of tickets as he shelved candidature to Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta among others. He didn’t consent even when RSS and BJP HQ asked him to consider a few names again. And then throughout the polling phase, Fadnavis focussed only on himself, and kept insisting – ‘only me again’ in all his campaigns, the real issues were taken from constituency to constituency on ground by NCP President Sharad Pawar – from rural distress, to the havoc caused by rains, to unemployment. As much as Devendra Fadnavis criticized Sharad Pawar, in his heart he would admit that its not easy to challenge the might of Sharad Pawar in Mahrashtra while the latter has proven to India what its to be “a people’s leader.”
Sources in Delhi had informed the media, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is extremely disappointed with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with the results. And the dismay didn’t begin with the results. It began sources say with the mega bharti in BJP. Most Congress and NCP’s leaders, accused by BJP of corruption were inducted in the party and this did not go down well with the Prime Minister and perhaps post results, can be said that the double standards hasn’t been accepted by voters either. The mega bharti led to many saying that BJP was no more a party with a difference.
And this is the reason why BJP in Delhi has left Devendra Fadnavis alone to fight the battle back to Chief Minister’s office. What else explains that Amit Shah has intervened in Haryana and sealed the deal with Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), but is not intervening in Maharashtra to solve the problem. It reminds of the public confession Devendra Fadnavis made in front of PM Modi when he paid his gratitude that he was made CM though he was a misfit in social engineering in Maharashtra’s politics. Now the very trait of being the “misfit” in in social engineering in Maharashtra’s politics has earned him more political enemies than real friends and put him in an isolated spot in his perhaps most challenging hour.
With bureau inputs #ZebaWarsia for NMTV News.