Elections 2021

Has the WB defeat made BJP put off ‘Operation Lotus’ in Maharashtra?

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on May 04, 2021

There could be a realignment of power in the State after the local body elections say party leaders

Mamata Banerjee stopping the BJP in its tracks in West Bengal may have given the party’s Maharashtra chapter some reason for pause.

BJP leaders in Maharashtra had repeatedly maintained that the Shiv Sena-NCP- Congress alliance will not continue in power in the State after the election results of five States, especially if BJP wins in West Bengal. However, with Mamata retaining power, BJP leaders feel that the Central leadership might not immediately start “Operation Lotus” — the name given to BJP’s alleged gambit of wooing MLAs from ruling parties to pull down a government in power.

BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, after the BJP won the Pandharpur by-election on Sunday defeating NCP candidate reiterated, “I will do a correct programme of this government. You will come to know at appropriate time about what is going to happen.”.

The popular feeling was that an Operation Lotus may be in the offing.

State BJP President Chandrakant Patil is confident that the BJP with 106 MLAs is not going to occupy the opposition benches for long. In fact, Patil recently reacting to an alleged meeting between NCP President Sharad Pawar and the BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah said that BJP would benefit by joining hands with the NCP.

In 2019 State elections the BJP emerged as the single largest party. Shiv Sena, an ally, decided to break the partnership as BJP refused its demand to share the post of Chief Minister with it. Subsequently, the Shiv Sena with 56 seats, NCP with 54 and the Congress with 44 seats formed the government.

Senior leaders in the BJP circle now say that Operation Lotus will gain momentum after the Mumbai civic body elections.

Published on May 03, 2021

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