A watershed year for Maharashtra politics

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on November 27, 2017 Published on December 29, 2014

Vantage point Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Gateway of India, in Mumbai onMonday. Fadnavis is yet to convert his political strength into affirmative action PTI

Dynamics change as BJP sweeps to power and rival-ally Sena is yet to find its feet

The year 2014 has proven to be a landmark in the political almanac of Maharashtra.

The Congress was decimated by the BJP in both the parliamentary and Assembly elections. Young Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took over the reins but he is yet to make his mark on the State administration.

The year is also significant as it saw the breakup and reunion of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.

The Congress-NCP alliance, which had been ruling the State for 15 years, also broke apart over seat-sharing.

Feather-weight political parties such as the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana and Rashtriya Samaj Paksha retained their niche in the political debate.

Veteran political analysts Nagesh Kesari observed that the BJP, in spite of having a massive mandate in the elections, has not managed to make political capital out of it. The ideas of the Fadnavis government are still in the form of vision documents; they are yet translate into concrete action.

In the coming days the BJP-led government will have to convert the political strength into security and financial stability for the State. Kesari pointed that Fadnavis is yet to get over Leader of Opposition mode.

In spite of the government enjoying a sizeable majority, no major Bills were introduced in the Winter Session of the State Legislature.

Old orders issued by former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan are being repackaged as new decisions of the Fadnavis government, he added.

“The State is in a financial emergency with ₹3 lakh-crore debt but Fadnavis is yet to show a solid plan for financial rejuvenation of the State exchequer,” Kesari said.

Contentious issues

BJP’s long-time allay Shiv Sena, after breaking its 25-year old political alliance in October, rejoined the Fadnavis government in December but it is yet to finalise its political position.

Even on contentious issues such as the Jaitapur nuclear power project and demand for separate statehood for Vidarbha, the party is still wavering.

Narendra Modi’s biographer and political commentator Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay said the Sena is politically dithering because before the elections it was the bigger partner in the alliance but now the roles have reversed.

On the other hand, the Congress and the NCP will have to go back to the drawing board for a new political strategy in the State, he said.

Published on December 29, 2014
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