The Maharashtra Politics Mahatangle – a Strategic Post-Mortem

Last updated on Nov 30, 2019

Posted on Nov 27, 2019

Maharashtra’s tryst with high powered politics was brought about this time when the elections for its 14th Legislative Assembly were held on October 21st for 288 seats.  Four large parties were in the race – BJP, Shiv Sena, INC (Congress), and the NCP (Sharad Pawar).  BJP and Shiv Sena ran as allies with the understanding that BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis will become the Chief Minister eventually.

When the results were announced, the tally was

  • BJP – 105 seats
  • Shiv Sena – 56 seats
  • NCP – 54 seats
  • Congress – 44 seats

No one party had gotten a complete mandate.  But, the alliance of BJP and Shiv Sena was a clear winner.

It is then that those running Shiv Sena started their mischief.  They started negotiating for the Chief Minister’s post, which was clearly against the pre-poll decision of having Devendra Fadnavis as the CM, which no one objected to at that time.

October 21, 2019

Maharashtra state elections

Elections for 14th Legislative Assembly carried out in Maharashtra for 288 seats October 21, 2019October 24, 2019

Election Results Announced

Results: BJP (105), Shiv Sena (56), NCP (54) and Congress (44)October 24, 2019November 9, 2019

Invite to BJP

Governor invites BJP to indicate willingness to form the government with 48 hours to prove its majority  November 9, 2019November 10, 2019

BJP declines and Invite to Shiv Sena

BJP express inability and Governor invites Shiv Sena with 24 hours to prove its majority November 10, 2019November 11, 2019

Shiv Sena rejected, NCP asked

Shiv Sena asks for 3 days but request rejected. NCP asked to form governmentNovember 11, 2019November 12, 2019

Challenge to Guv in SC

Governor’s decision on Shiv Sena is challenged in Supreme Court.  President’s rule imposed in Maharashtra November 12, 2019November 22, 2019

Enemies combine

NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena in a ‘Combine’ called  Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi with Udhav Thackeray named as Chief MinisterNovember 22, 2019November 23, 2019

Devendra Fadnavis Sworn in

President’s rule revoked at 5.47 am on Saturday, Fadnavis sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister, Ajit Pawar as Dy CM. ‘Combine’ challenges swearing in in Supreme Court  November 23, 2019November 24, 2019

Supreme Court takes notice

SC asks Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place before it tomorrow morning letters of Maharashtra Governor recommending revocation of President’s rule, issues notice to Centre and others November 24, 2019November 25, 2019

Tuesday for SC order

SC says it will pass an order at 10.30 am on Tuesday on the issue of floor test for the Maharashtra government led by Devendra Fadnavis November 25, 2019November 26, 2019

Fadnavis Resigns

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announces his resignation, after Ajit Pawar quits citing ‘personal reasons’. November 26, 2019

You see a lot of changes were happening back and forth in the political drama in Maharashtra.

The question is why?

Bullet train to Farmers loan waiver scam in waiting

Congress and other political parties have a major paucity of funds due to the big curbs being put in the legal system, penalizing black money.  So, wherever Congress has usurped power in the State Assemblies, it’s number one focus has been farmer loan waivers.

Of course, those waiver schemes have never benefited the real beneficiaries.  They have instead gone to the coffers of the Congress.  The reason why 3 parties came together this time to stand against BJP is again the same.  They need funding and stealing from the people is the best way to do it – using the Farmer loan waiver strategy.  We saw the scam of non-existent farmers getting waiver in Rajasthan, non-existent farmers in MP, and worse of all Rs 44,000 crores going to mere 800 farmers in Karnataka!  What was all that?  Swindling tax payers money.

Deja vu’?

The strategy of using Farmers loan waivers to fill its coffer is a known Congress strategy. We discuss in this evaluation of Congress’ performance and manifesto for 2019 elections on how it has plundered from the Indian tax payer.  For example, in Chattisgarh Rs 61 billion of the tax payer money was assigned to loan waiverRead More

And what is the first thing that Shiv Sena is talking about just before swearing in?  You guessed it right – the Farmer loan waivers. At the expense of Bullet train project specifically.  And, they know that the Bullet train coffers would be flush with funds from JICA and they can get hold of those funds and direct them to their own foreign bank accounts.  Interesting isn’t it?

Was Fadnavis Swearing done to Save Bullet Train Funds from being poached?

One never knows how these decisions are made.  But there is a WhatsApp forward that does point to this being the real reason why Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in an emergency, despite the risks from NCP’s shenanigans.

There are huge funds in Maharashtra government accounts, deposited as part of funds for Bullet train. Centre, Maharashtra and Gujarat control these funds. Sonia wanted to divert these funds for Farmer loan waiver though Japan wouldn’t have agreed. But Japan cannot stop Maharashtra CM if he wants to go ahead. That would abort the Bullet train project. It will help Congress to siphon off funds in the name of waivers.   Fadnavis was care taker CM till 22 and he could not have transferred the money to central funds. So he struck a deal with Ajit Pawar (Shah Modi gameplan) and produced letters of support of 159 MLAs through party chiefs. That’s why the emergency swearing in. He has transferred almost all the money to central funds, making it impossible for new government to touch the funds.   He will resign now but they have prevented the Congress from poaching into Bullet train project. Social media wisdom?

I am not sure whether Fadnavis did move the money to the Central funds to save it from the poachers (NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress ‘Combine’) or not.  But one thing is for sure – the first announcement of Shiv Sena was quite specific.  And its justification quite incredulous and lame!

Who played whom?

On November 23rd, when Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the CM with support from Ajit Pawar, it was being said that Amit Shah has turned the tables on Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar and Congress.  Of course, his political strategic mind – akin to Chanakya – was being eulogized.

The fact is that folks like Sharad Pawar etc are not idiots.  If Ajit Pawar was to leave with the whole troupe, he would surely come to know.

Similarly, if Sharad Pawar wanted to use his nephew, Ajit Pawar, as the ‘Trojan horse’, Amit Shah is not an idiot to fall for someone who simply shows up so suddenly at his door.

Except for being a way to get immediate gratification of beating your enemy, those arguments have no real substance.  And this could not have been so simple and easily cut out.

Future Directions and Indulgences fueled the Political Drama

Shiv Sena has largely become irrelevant to its regular constituency of Hindu Marathi Manoos, who still owe loyalty to Balasaheb Thackeray.  Their only real ally was BJP, but that also meant that they were second rung to the BJP in any alliance.  Which is something that the egos of the second generation of Thackerays could not digest.  They were done seeing their Dad being a “kingmaker”.  They wanted to be the kings.

Which would never happen with BJP in command.  The only way for them was to use BJP to get through the elections and getting the boost from the Modi wave to have a good tally to make a bid for the highest office in the state.  They did that.

Little realizing that BJP was getting tired of their tantrums and wayward attitude.  They wanted them to do so.  And, then dump them.

You see Udhav is dependent on Modi, Modi is not dependent on Udhav.

This is something they completely forgot.  Or wanted to ignore.  There are no good options left for Shiv Sena now. Which was the case before elections as well.

Contrary to their calculations, this chasm with BJP and embracing the “Secularism” of Congress will spell doom for Shiv Sena’s  relationship with its traditional constituency.

Meanwhile NCP is finding its way back at the helm of opposition to the main leader of the nation – Modi.  Congress is just a bunch of clueless losers and the only thing that makes them click is stealing money from the nation.  And, now they are so out of touch with what works in India, that they can have no real aspirations and are staring at complete decimation in some years.

There are no real alternatives to lead the opposition.  With this “win” and media boost as the “slayer of Chanakya”, suddenly Sharad Pawar, who many say was backing Dawood Ibrahim, will become that one waterhole for all the opposition.  They will gravitate to him and his, fast receding party, may become important again.

And, for him, this would be one way to “dodge the bullet”, which is staring at him from the Enforcement Directorate.  Coopt the entire anti-Modi media and narrative for himself and cry foul when the cops come calling.

What does Congress get?  Much needed money for its exploits of course!

And, BJP?  It gets to dump Shiv Sena and pushes all its enemies in one bunch.  Its easier to target them when they are together than when they are separate.  Giving people a taste of the jackals makes them realize what it was like to have a Lion at the helm.

Fadnavis will be back.  But he will be back when the rest of the guys are done with.  That, in the current situation, will happen sooner than otherwise.

Everyone works based on their needs and goals – immediate and long term.  Some do not have the luxury of going for the long term, like Shiv Sena.  Their urge to sort the short term is their only real shot at their long term.

Conclusion

In the end it is not that one person is smarter or more cunning than the other.  The real thing is who has what goals and how patient one is to get there.  Some want gratification for their egos and themselves.  Some are playing the game for a whole different reason and they don’t care for the normal “goods” that life has to offer.  Like how Modi is playing the game.  And that is why egos, oneupmanship, petty ways to find a position is not something that people like Modi are in politics for.

That is why such people will succeed in the end.


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