It has been over three weeks since Maharashtra assembly poll results were announced by the Election Commission, no political party or formation of parties have been able to establish a clear majority in the house and form the government in the state. The confusion over what exactly is happening behind the curtains and the uncertainty caused by it is now becoming damaging not just for the anti-BJP alliance which has been initiated by the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, but its also damaging for the state of Maharashtra.
NCP Chief Sharad Pawar always known for his remarkable ability to turn any situation around and change a political impossibility into a possibility has again thrown a googly on Monday eveing that it is still unclear whether the Congress party is ready to accept an alliance with the Sena, however reliable sources indicate that that over 40 MLAs of the Congress out of the 44 elected have told party chief Sonia Gandhi that they want to go ahead with power sharing pact with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Senior leaders of Congress party from outside Maharashtra such as former defence minister A.K. Antony have shown opposition to this alliance because they feel the party will suffer a blow to its image in states like Kerala which are staunchly against Hindutva politics.
It seems that Congress President does not want to create an image in the public eye that she has over-ruled views of leaders like Antony without even giving it a serious thought, so she is taking her time to give concent to the deal in Maharashtra. Congress leadership in Maharashtra stands with its MLAs and wants to be part of the government. Some media reports suggest that NCP and Congress have agreed to giving the Chief Minister's post to Shiv Sena for the full term of five years and divide important portfolios among the three parties equally.
The way leaders are showing disinterest in pursuing the formation of the new government in reasonable time and the way they are also ignoring the farmers in the state who are under deep distress because of unseasonal rains which have reportedly destroyed Khariff crop over 70 lakh hectares of land, is now becoming politically damaging for these leaders and their parties. It also is very damaging for the state's image among farmers, traders, businessmen and potential investors.
On many counts Maharashtra is now lagging behind some other large states in the country. One key area where things are not seen moving is infrastructure. Leave aside the proposed new airports at Navi Mumbai and Pune district (Purandar) for which former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had given completion deadlines which are now impossible to meet, work on even small and medium size projects such as highway expansion on Pune-Bengaluru highway, metro projects in various parts of the state and Mumbai-Nagpur samridhhi highway is not moving at expected pace. State is reeling under debt, agrarian crisis continues because of adverse weather patterns and citizens are slowly losing patience with the politicians.
It is obvious that none of the 288 elected MLAs want an election again. They have worked hard in their campaign and they want to remain in the assembly for its full term. The need of the hour now is to resolve the political differences, come forward to form the government and get on with the issues of governance at once, further delay may cost the concerned politicians dearly in the next elections!