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Government formation- Biggest losers are the people of Maharashtra

It’s been a 27-day-old standoff on government formation in Maharashtra and nothing is decided yet by Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP. It’s the public who bear the enormous cost of election. Number of government proceeding are getting held up for this impasse and people are suffering. BJP and Shiv Sena both have to take the responsibility for this. They kept public in dark about the details of their alliance. Both the party should have had a clear understanding about the CM issue. If they aren’t in one platform in this matter, they should have gone to poll separately. At, least public would have voted without being in dark. There was no response to Pawar’s remarks from the Shiv Sena, which is banking on the support of NCP and Congress to keep the BJP away from power. Amid the impasse over government formation in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi adorned the virtues of the Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Parliament, praising the party for strictly “adhering to parliamentary norms.” No one knows what this indicates.

Pawar not helping Shiv Sena is praised or Pawar is admired for not taking any stand for Sena? So far, no government is formed and there is president’s rule till such time new election is organised. Until then it would be practically BJP rule only. So, BJP is not going to be much loser. Modi’s praises for Pawar has given clear indication and burden on NCP not to go ahead in formation of government. If government is not formed entire blame would go to Shiv Sena. As it’s not justified to demand 50–50 share of CMO with half the strength of BJP. While no blame would go to NCP and Congress. If government is not formed, Shiv Sena will end up with empty hand forget about 50–50 share of CMO. If the alliance breaks down Shiv Sena would be bigger loser in their power equation for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) the richest civic body. This is what would hurt them more.

Without being in power both in assembly as BMC would prove too much to keep the Shiv Sena house in order. Looking into Shiv Sena’s electoral performance there’s no assurance that Shiv Sena would get majority on its own to form government even if fresh election is organised. Chances are there they have to play the same younger brother role for BJP. Or it could so happen that BJP get majority with support of some independent MLA. If we compare with NCP and Congress performance, Shiv Sena haven’t done anything great in this election. They could not manage 1/5 seat even. They better focus building their base. Though BJP has increased their strike rate, they need to analyse the performance of NCP and Congress, both the party have been able to increase its tally over 2014 assembly election result. This is quite significant particularly when Congress has been able to increase its tally inspite of being largely decimated over last five years. While NCP has been able to increase tally by over 25 per cent. Sena cannot hope any support from NCP without breaking ties with BJP and to make Pawar believe that they have no ties with BJP Sena asked its only leader in Modi cabinet to resign. Shiv Sena sat on its knees to get power, but no one really took them serious because of Uddhav’s offensive speeches about NCP-Congress leaders. Uddhav Thackeray was over confident and that has killed him the most in this power sharing gamble. Shiv Sena has not played the constructive role in government formation; it has already sent wrong signal to public particularly when they have a poll alliance with BJP. It’s their moral responsibility to help in government formation.

If fresh election happens, Sena could be the biggest loser, since public would never conceive that Shiv Sena in any way would be able to form government on its own. Because of ideological difference they would not get support from Congress and NCP. So, it would be natural choice for public to vote the party who can form government either BJP or Congress-NCP alliance. If fresh election has to happen BJP, NCP and Congress would be major gainer. Plus, there could be exodus from Shiv Sena. If the alliance breaks, both BJP and Sena could be affected by division of Hindu vote in future election, which in turn would help NCP and Congress. People would not trust Sena for any attempt for alliance with BJP. While BJP has other state to survive, but Shiv Sena has only one state in its fold to hold its existence. Sena might be aware of their vulnerability that’s the reason they keep on talking ill of BJP inspite of being partner in government. However, this is the time to show political maturity. If Shiv Sena goes for alliance with NCP and Congress, it would lose its ideological ground, which would affect its relevance in long term. As such alliance with NCP and Congress would not live long for obvious reason. If Shiv Sena doesn’t form government NCP and Congress would be gainer either way. It is one of the biggest fallacies that Maharashtrians vote for Shiv Sena in large numbers. This perception is not held by people in Maharashtra itself but generally people outside the state who follow politics through media lenses.

Shiv Sena was surviving just because they were alliance with BJP, if you see the previous records they were voted out of power for years. Thane and Suburbs of Mumbai apart from few pockets of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena is largely a huge failure as a party which is more than 50 years old. They control BMC which is the biggest municipal corporation in Asia. The budget of BMC which is municipal corporation of Mumbai is much bigger than many of the smaller states of India. The share of tax contribution which Central Government gets from Mumbai is high too as the city is the financial capital of India. It would be helpful to note that the Shiv Sena received 14,43,969 votes out of 50.97 lakhs votes in Mumbai compared to BJP which received 13,92,676 votes. Another thing is the media visibility due to it being the city of dreams and the capital of Bollywood. Maharashtrians have never voted them to power ever and it is simply a below-average performance if you consider that it is a party which was formed in 1966. Shiv Sena formed a government in alliance with BJP in 1995 after winning 73 seats plus BJP’s 65 even after allowing us to fight only 116 seats out of 288 as an alliance partner. It installed Manohar Joshi as CM lasting four years after which another government with Narayan Rane as CM was installed for a brief period of 8 months. That’s all the power Shiv Sena had among the people of Maharashtra. With present attitude and greed of Uddhav Thackeray and unreasonable demands of Shiv Sena is last nail in their coffin.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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