- Pawar has made the ultimate political comeback of 2019 and Thackeray has finally emerged as the legatee of Bal Thackeray, a much delayed coming of age.
- A roll call of the losers includes Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who put his political capital on the line and tweeted support of the Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar government minutes after it was sworn in, and Amit Shah, Union Home Minister and BJP president, losing his grudge match to Pawar senior, who totally outwitted and out-gunned him
As Uddhav Thackeray becomes the first from his family to hold executive office as chief minister of India’s richest state Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar, 79, four-time erstwhile chief minister of Maharashtra and Thackeray’s new ally, holds the remote control of power firmly in his hand.
Both Thackeray and Pawar are the joint winners of the match along with the Congress party, the third part of the alliance triangle, which emerged as an accidental winner in the government.
I had said in my Swat Analysis two weeks ago that riding a tiger is never easy and even after 30 years of alliance, the tiger can still inflict grievous wounds. And I had stressed the tiger will have the last word on victory.
That tiger is roaring today.
Now Pawar has made the ultimate political comeback of 2019 and Thackeray has finally emerged as the legatee of Bal Thackeray, a much delayed coming of age.
They have won the battle of Mumbai, but the loser is the Indian Constitution, the only real sovereign in a democracy as the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, seemed to reduce his office to the rubber stamp of the Modi government, while the governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, showed that he is more loyal to the RSS than the office of a high Constitutional functionary.
A roll call of the losers includes Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who put his political capital on the line and tweeted support of the Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar government minutes after it was sworn in, and Amit Shah, Union Home Minister and BJP president, losing his grudge match to Pawar senior, who totally outwitted and out-gunned him.
The political shenanigans of Maharashtra saw Modi cite “emergency provisions” of the Rules of Business to rail road lifting of Governor’s rule in Maharashtra to President Ram Nath Kovind signing on the revocation of President’s rule in Maharashtra at 5.47 am on Sunday last week.
Normally, the Union Cabinet recommends this to the President.
Modi chose to go with a rarely-used Emergency clause. The Emergency was the swearing-in of a BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party as his deputy.
Why emergency clauses exist
Emergency clauses exist to allow the prime minister to have flexibility in the case of war, internal disturbances or a financial emergency.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, an RSS worker, swore in the government at 7.30 am without exercising any due diligence on the support enjoyed by Pawar and Fadnavis.
Both Kovind and Koshiyari have done great disservice to the high Constitutional posts they hold.
The Maharashtra outcome has ensured a bruising of the political reputation of the duo of Modi and Shah.
The biggest loss would be the loss of their reputation of invincibility enjoyed by the two and regularly buffed up by an obliging media.
The Opposition has gained India’s richest state and will go into the battle of Jharkhand and Delhi with an enhanced political will to power.
But our Opposition is incapable of not losing the plot. The Congress party will now be part of a ruling alliance after barely bothering to fight the Maharashtra elections. It has turned into an accidental winner of a state where it still commands a vote share.
Expect the squabbles in the disparate alliance to come to the boil immediately. It took the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress so long to talk that the BJP nearly walked away with the prize in Maharashtra.
Two things are important. One the maximalist approach of Modi and Shah, which has reduced all politics to an electoral zero sum game, resulting in actively alienating allies.
The Sena broke its 30-year-old alliance with the BJP and chose ideologically incompatible partners instead of Modi and Shah.
The BJP is left with only two allies — the Janata Dal United in Bihar and the Akali Dal in Punjab.
The glue of the alliance of incompatibles in Maharashtra is simply a visceral anti-BJP feeling, similar to the anti-Congress groupings of an earlier politics.
The Opposition feels that the Modi government has set the investigative agencies after them. This has always been the case in India, but the Modi government has taken it to be a near rite of every state election.
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Pawar was served an Enforcement Directorate notice before the Maharashtra elections and that got the wiliest politician in India to decide on the battle of his life.
A picture of Pawar addressing a rally in pouring rain in Vidharba went viral and made for an emotional connect with the rooted Maratha politician who has been Maharashtra chief minister four times.
Pawar challenged Shah saying post results: "Amit Shah knows how to make governments without numbers. I want to see what he can do in Maharashtra."
Pawar has delivered a loss to Shah, but with a family battle for succession between nephew Ajit Pawar and his chosen heir daughter Supriya Sule coming out in the open.
As Thackeray makes his journey from Matoshree (Thackeray home) to Varsha (chief minister’s bungalow), he has also finally been able to prove himself as his father’s heir. A late coming of age helped by the ever present Pawar consigliere whisper in his ear.