Quick Take

Stop playing political games in Maharashtra

| Updated on November 04, 2019

BJP and Shiv Sena workers celebrate their victory in Maharashtra Assembly elections. File Photo   -  PTI

The mandate is for a BJP-Shiv Sena government. They should iron out their differences and attend to urgent governance matters

The pantomime currently being enacted in Maharashtra is replete with the sort of cynicism that generates a distaste for the political class. The manner in which each contestant in Maharashtra is negotiating numbers can be equalled only by the inadvertent sincerity of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddiyurappa, who urged his party-men to sacrifice their personal ambitions to honour the interests of defectors from the Congress and the JD(S). In a video clip of an internal BJP meeting in Hubli, Karnataka where the party workers apparently expressed resentment towards the decision to allot tickets to the Congress-JD(S) rebels in the upcoming by-polls, Yeddiyurappa allegedly argued: “Not even one of you said ‘they sacrificed so we could come to power’. What is the point of them resigning from MLA posts… They believed us and came, right?” Indeed, in realising the larger goal of assuming power, partisan and ideological allegiances cannot be expected to prevail.

It is now nine days since the election results came out and six days before the term of the current 13th Legislative Assembly ends on November 10, when its first meeting was held in 2014. But the current cast of characters is nowhere close to forming a government, with a new formula for alternative alliances and cobbling up numbers being floated with each passing day. The BJP, with the largest number of 105 seats in the 288-member Assembly, has been comfortably fielding off its temperamental ally’s increasing demands of a 50:50 formula for sharing Cabinet berths, dividing up chief ministerial term et al, by asserting that the State could witness a spell of President’s Rule. The Sena, on its part, has boasted of having the support of as many as 170 MLAs that far exceeds the simple majority mark.

The tantalising prospect of booting the BJP out of a big State has prompted more than a few conciliatory noises towards the recalcitrant Sena from the NCP-Congress quarters, although the veteran Sharad Pawar has thus far not deviated from his stated stance that the mandate is for them to sit in the Opposition. The Congress-NCP may eventually decide against supporting the Sena, not because of any ideological hesitation but on account of the fact that the Thackerays are merely using the Opposition as a bargaining chip with the BJP.

Such antics can induce a disconcerting fatigue and attrition of faith in genuine democratic processes. Maharashtra is currently battling unseasonal flooding and an acute agrarian crisis that is routinely pushing farmers towards suicide. Governance cannot be held to ransom by the overweening ambition of a regional player, or the ruling party’s stubborn pride. Elections have thrown up a clear verdict in favour of BJP-Shiv Sena pre-poll alliance and it is time they form the government and get on with the governance.

Published on November 04, 2019

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