Maharashtra (state) by implication of its nomenclature (Maha means big/great, rastra meant state) is India’s biggest and richest state. The BJP has given away such state to Shiva Sena, NCP and the Congress trio also known MAHA AGHADI. It’s unfortunate that both Shiv Sena and the BJP couldn’t budge an inch from their stance to have an amicable solution. Both are ideological allies. Both fought electoral battle together. Both won the state together. Both tried to woo the NCP to form the government rather preferring their own ideological partner. Now, Uddhav Thackeray being sworn-in chief minister, the Sena got what the BJP denied to them. This is what happens when power over ideology prevails.
The biggest beneficiary in this power struggle is the Congress party. The party which is nowhere in the political landscape till yesterday and is in a waning stage, got a new lease of life. As a matter of fact, Sonia Gandhi gained ground. This is one, flip side of the story.
On the other flop-side is, by aligning with Shiv Sena for sharing power, the Congress lost its so-called secular image among its minority voters. The predatory Assaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM, makes no bones, now, in branding the Congress (which is in cohorts with the Shiv Sena in grabbing power in the biggest state) for compromising on its secularism. The Wayanad wallahs of Rahul Gandhi’s constituency get baffled. The Communist parties of Kerala, gleefully look at these developments. The Left in Kerala, is the big beneficiary of the Congress move. As Shah Bano case is for Hindus, aligning with Shiv Sena is for Muslims.
Poor Shiv Sena, it has to make a U-turn on all issues it has stated so long! Be it on Ayodhya Ram Temple building, be it on awarding Savarkar Bharat Ratna (even if the BJP awards eventually, Sena has to shut its mouth for the sake of its secular Congress ally). Shiva Sena has to be cautious from here onwards in commenting on Sonia Gandhi. It cannot loud mouth its opinions as it did earlier freely on her. It had also tried to put the BJP in a corner, on all ideological issues by writing in its (Sena’s) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ with a no- holds-barred attitude, although the BJP was its ally. Would the Sena do such a venture with its new found allies, if the Sena perceives something wrong in them? Now, since it has no ideology left and has to toe the Congress-NCP ideology, the BJP is free to talk on all Hindu aspirations. The Sena has to wear pseudo-secular mask to cover its skin all the while!
In any way, the party, Shiv Sena, is not viewed on what it says today. It’s judged on what it said yesterday, that is, based on its history. Maybe the party initially stood for Maratha pride but it coupled its Hindu pride with it during the Ayodhya movement and other times. Ram temple at Ayodhya is anathema to the Congress’s secular values. So, where does the party, Shiv Sena, stand? If Sena dilutes its ideology for the Congress’s sake, the BJP will overtake it in the state. All this much ado by Shiv Sena is, to get the Chief Ministers’ post? Very soon they will realize that power is transient and ideology is permanent.
Shiv Sena often stated that it felt suffocated/stifled in the company of its big brother, the BJP. It often happens, beneath a big tree, small trees cannot grow. Because they cannot get enough sunlight, air and water for nourishment. Now, is it ( the Sena) free under the Congress? If Sena felt free with no stifling now, soon it will realize what the Congress is. If the Congress was so full of freedom and ventilation of thought, why would the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinmool Congress Party (TMC), YSR Congress Party (YSRCP of Andhra) and earlier Tamil Manila Congress (TMC) have come out from it? The Congress always sees to its interest. It swallowed Prajarajyam Party of actor Chiranjeevi in Andhra Pradesh (United) and also tried to gobble up Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) of K. Chandrasekhar Rao. But, somehow, TRS escaped and is ruling Telangana as of now. The history of the Congress is as such. In their company Shiv Sena is basking for glory! It’s an illusion. The Congress tactfully excused itself from the swearing-in ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray however much they were pleaded to attend.
The NCP patriarch, Sharad Pawar, is no doubt a Maratha-strong man but not an energetic pan-India leader like Modi. There is a breed of anti-BJP journalists in Indian media. They are seeing ,this move of Maha Aghadi formation, as a ray of hope/ light at the end of the tunnel for them. They are missing a larger point. To run a country you need an efficient leader, not a conglomeration of local satraps.
It’s pertinent here, for one to ponder over, as to why Ajit Pawar had gone to the BJP and why he came back to the fold of NCP in short time and what transpired in between Devendra Fadnavis government and him. Everything seems to be a mystery. Only time can tell what happens next. In any case, it’s better for the Sena to come back to their ideological nest after enjoying their much-desired chief ministership for some time, rather than compromising on all fronts in their ideology. Now the jubilant – anti-BJP- media journalists, should also think who is the leader in the Maha Aghadi or elsewhere in the country, who could match, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in this country. So, it’s all the way for the BJP sooner or later.