National

BJP inching closer to regain power in Maharashtra?

Radheshyam Jadhav | | Updated on: Mar 21, 2021
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As former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday demanding resignation of Maharashtra Home Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh, social media platforms were abuzz with Fadnavis’s supporters predicting his comeback as chief minister.

The veteran BJP leader has put the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in a tight spot, ostensibly with full backing from the Centre. Though the BJP is demanding the resignation of Deshmukh, the real target is Thackeray, according to political observers.

The demand for his resignation follows allegations by the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh, days after his being shunted out, alleging that Deshmukh had demanded ₹100 crore every month from suspended police officer Sachin Vaze. Vaze is in National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody in connectionw with the Antilia bomb scare case.

 

Political circles in Maharashtra anticipate that the central BJP leadership is ready to discredit and dislodge the Thackeray government. Not surprisingly, the demand that State Home Minister must be probed by NIA is gaining momentum.

Political observer Vijay Chormare believes that Fadnavis is playing his cards shrewdly and the ruling Shiv Sena-NCP and Congress alliance is falling into the well-laid trap. “He (Fadnavis ) is determined to come back and has his own people in police and bureaucracy. The BJP has started to build case after case against the government and the ultimate end would be presidential rule or realignment of alliances,” he feels.

NCP vs Sena cold war?

The NIA pressure seems to be working. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said that allegations of corruption levelled by Param Bir Singh against Anil Deshmukh are “very serious” and said it is “time for an introspection”.

Devendra Fadnavis welcomed Raut’s statement saying that for the first time Raut has “introspected”. BJP State unit President Chandrakant Patil speaking to reporters in Pune said, “The Governor must intervene and send a report to the President that the situation in Maharashtra is out of control”.

Government insiders say that BJP leadership is trying to convince Uddhav Thackeray to snap ties with the NCP and return to the BJP fold. Shiv Sena MP Raut’s tweet led to speculations about realignment in State politics.

Raut tweeted “ Hum ko to bas talaash naye raaston ki hai / hum hai musafir aise hai jo manzil say aaye hain ( We are looking for new paths, we are travellers who are returning from the destination ).

Sena insiders say that Uddhav is keen that Anil Deshmukh resigns from the post and has communicated this to NCP chief Sharad Pawar. However, Congress has preferred to keep mum on the developments.

In 2019 State elections the BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress won 56, 54 and 44 seats respectively. NCP and Congress decided to support Sena to keep BJP out of power. Now, BJP will need either NCP or Sena’s support to bring back Fadnavis as CM.

Published on March 22, 2021

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