Replying to a recent attack on Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, NCP president Sharad Pawar said he had insisted that Uddhav Thackeray become chief minister of Maharashtra after Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was formed two years ago, hours after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis claimed Thackeray covertly nurtured ambitions to become a CM but kept talking about installing a “Shiv Sainik” on the post.
Rather Pawar pulled state opposition party BJP for “keeping mum” on the issue of rising prices of fuel and accused the saffron party of not lowering rates of petrol and diesel despite a fall in the international prices of crude. Pawar successfully handles everyone and time to time keeps them in their place.
When the MVA was formed the leaders held a meeting to discuss the leadership of the alliance, Pawar was the one who insisted Uddhav Thackeray become the chief minister. Pawar is very closed to the Thackrey family, he has seen these people since their childhood. Balasaheb Thackeray and Pawar might have political differences but they were very pally with each other. Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar, who established the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 20 years ago and brought it into power forging a coalition with the Congress in Maharashtra, has always been guarding Thackeray.
Moreover, Sharad Pawar will never let lose anything. The experience of NCP-Congress and manpower of ShivSena can become a lethal combination in this state and others may follow the same pattern in upcoming elections. These three have broken the ice and made it very embarrassing for BJP and Modi’s wave.
The alliance of Sena-NCP-Congress will last long as Sharad Pawar and Sanjay Raut two powerful leaders are holding the string and they will not let it collapse. If Shiv Sena is forced to forego its core Hindutva ideology of Congress forced to dilute its secular credentials etc., will not end the alliance. Uddhav made it loud and clear that his Hindutva is nationalism but not divisive political agenda.
Maharashtra is a big state with the largest Economy in India so Congress would not try to withdraw power and moreover, after losing Karnataka they would be happy with this Consolation price. The financial capital of India will be run by a hardcore Mumbaikar. Sharad Pawar will run a remote-controlled government. Alliance with Shivsena will help NCP to gain a foothold in areas Like Mumbai and Konkan and Sharad Pawar is known as a Friendly politician who would be happy working with Thackrey’s. Congress is practically run by NCP leaders so it’s like NCP has 98 MLAs which is Enough for a strong govt until something strange happens and Govt Falls. Well, let us leave this debate to the time ahead.
Right now, important to notice is the slap given to arrogant BJP by all others. With just a day left for Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray to take oath as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra, a senior BJP leader and former state minister has in hindsight suggested the BJP should not have taken into confidence Ajit Pawar, the nephew of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. Ajit has always wanted to break free from the Congress shadow, while Pawar senior, given his national ambitions, has not Pawar senior still commands way more respect from his party than Ajit dada does, and what is more, the young-old man holds an iron grip over his party’s rank. With that, for the umpteenth time in three decades, Pawar, the uncle, prevailed over his nephew Ajit Pawar, and tactfully made him fall in line. Pawar probably knew of his nephew’s awkwardness with the three-party coalition, but may not have gauged his intentions to revolt and cross over to the BJP in the manner he did. The latest bid was, by far, one of the most serious attempts by Ajit to come out of the shadow of his uncle and wrest control of the NCP. But the attempt failed for the same reasons which have existed for the past two decades since the formation of Pawar’s regional outfit, with the addition of some more.
In a political career spanning over five decades, Pawar has engineered ruptures in political parties, including his own. He has lived through defections. Ambitions are a part of political life; deceit to acquire power too – he knows it and has seen it all. What was new this time around was that the lessons from his playbook came visiting him – a split in his close-knit family and a political camp that was stopping him from forming a government in Maharashtra.