Division in opposition helps Fadnavis retain the smile on his face

Rohit Chandavarkar
Tuesday, 25 July 2017

In the recently concluded presidential polls, it was evident that in Maharashtra cross voting happened. The BJP candidate got support from some members of the opposition side. A clear indication that Fadnavis and his team have got a firm grip in Maharashtra.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis looks relaxed and happy nowadays! That happiness shows in his actions and speech. “There is no danger to my government. This government will complete the full five-year term. Even if there is any problem cropping up, we will get help from an invisible hand,” Fadnavis said while speaking at a public function in Mumbai two days ago. Despite rumours of alliance partner Shiv Sena planning some kind of a coup and other partners like Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) showing clear indications of walking out of the ruling alliance, Chief Minister Fadnavis looks confident.

Where has this confidence come from? Why is the Chief Minister looking so relaxed in the face of several alliance members showing open resentment?

In the recently concluded presidential polls, it was evident that in Maharashtra, cross voting happened. The BJP candidate got support from some members of the opposition side. A clear indication that Fadnavis and his team have got a firm grip in Maharashtra.

Though the overall distress felt by farmers in Maharashtra’s rural and farm sector is very high and it could snowball into a major political movement, the opposition in Maharashtra has created the perception that they are busy fighting among themselves. A day before the winter session of the Maharashtra assembly kicked off in Mumbai, the division among the opposition benches became very evident. For the first time in the memorable period, the opposition was seen holding separate press conferences and Nationalist Congress party skipping the joint opposition meet held to decide the opposition’s agenda in the Assembly session. The division between erstwhile alliance partners Congress and NCP is music to the ears of the BJP. This raises the government’s comfort level.

The reasons for the rift between Congress and NCP are complicated and have reached a level where there is now no certainty about them coming together on any plank. NCP feels that the Congress dominated too much when Prithviraj Chavan was the State Chief Minister, Congress feels the NCP kept all the crucial portfolios with themselves and blocked Congress party’s growth. Even after three years of being out of power, these differences have widened too much for any solution.   

This gives the BJP so much confidence now that they have decided to corner the Shiv Sena even further and show no respect for the alliance partner. Looking at the way the Sena leadership is going to town expressing their resentment against the BJP and its leaders, now it would be difficult for them to get into a pre-poll alliance with the BJP in 2019 elections in Maharashtra, this fact gives rise to many political possibilities! 

- ROHIT CHANDAVARKAR

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