A lot depends on how Uddhav handles Chief Ministers post

ROHIT CHANDAVARKAR
Friday, 22 November 2019

Sharad Pawar has played a masterstroke by announcing to media suddenly that all alliance partners want only Uddhav Thackeray as CM. Uddhav has no experience of parliamentary affairs or administration. He is not comfortable sitting in Mantralaya and handling files. Sources say he had indicated to Pawar earlier that he does not want to be CM himself.  In such a case if he now accepts the position, it means the remote control of power comes in the hands of Sharad Pawar's party. It remains to be seen if NCP and Congress decide no other face apart from Uddhav as Chief Minister. 

In the state capital Mumbai, Friday was full of action. Once again the leaders of three parties who have set out to form an alliance met at Nehru centre in Worli to discuss the details of who will play what role in the government, but apart from the decision about Shiv Sena being given the Chief Minister's position, hardly any consent was given on anything else by them. Looking at the way things are going it seems like the walk is going to be tough for this alliance. 

Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP) President Sharad Pawar told the media when he came out of the meeting that all have agreed that Uddhav Thackery should be the Chief Minister. Just a day earlier there was a late night meeting between Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray, in which sources indicate that Uddhav said he was not too keen to take the top position in the state government. The Thackerays have always stayed away from ministerial positions and have only believed in the politics of "remote control" when Shiv Sena was in power between 1995 and 1999, Sena leader Manohar Joshi was the Chief Minister but Balasaheb Thackeray had famously said that he holds the remote control. Will this now change and will Uddhav yield to the pressure put on Friday by Sharad Pawar by announcing that only his name was agreed upon by all stake holders. Sharad Pawar feels that the government will have stability only if Uddhav takes the lead and becomes the CM so that there are no disputes later. 

Sharad Pawar has played a masterstroke by announcing to media suddenly that all alliance partners want only Uddhav Thackeray as CM. Uddhav has no experience of parliamentary affairs or administration. He is not comfortable sitting in Mantralaya and handling files. In such a case if he accepts the position, it means the remote control of power comes in the hands of Sharad Pawar's party. It remains to be seen if NCP and Congress decide no other face apart from Uddhav as Chief Minister.     

The meeting held on Friday, was the first where all top leaders of the three parties took part and it seemed like there were disagreements on many counts, clearly giving indications that things are going to be not so easy for this alliance. The Congress and NCP seem to be in no hurry to form the government but they want the largest possible share in the pie. Sources suggested that both these parties stakes claim on the speakers post and on many other issues also there were disagreements which have to be still sorted out. 

As far as the discussion in media and social media about ideological issues and differences is concerned, that perhaps will not be much of an issue for these parties because they have had political cooperation many times in the past without ideological differences becoming a big issue. When the power in Delhi becomes too influential and big to handle for opposition parties, they unite together without thinking about ideological differences. During Indira Gandhi's regime and the days of emergency, political parties with right wing ideology came together with parties with leftist ideology to fight 1977 elections and form the government in which Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L. K. Advani sat together with leftist leaders like Madhu Dandavate. So ideology has not been much of an issue in this country. 

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