Devendra Fadnavis’ second term will surpass his first for the sheer transformative work that is being planned! And the BJP can’t do it alone, they need the Sena with them! And the Shiv Sena needs the BJP!
Rajiv Kunwar Bajaj
First things first! Shri Devendra Fadnavis will be sworn in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra for a second consecutive term after becoming the only CM to complete a full 5 year term after 1972!
Second, the Shiv Sena will remain in the alliance and work with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis to try and transform the state of Maharashtra into the economic powerhouse it ought to be!
Now that we have got that out of the way, what’s the whole shebang with regard to the Sena-BJP tussle all about?
Simply this; the BJP is now the principal political party of not just India but Maharashtra as well!
It’s Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna all over again; and while the original superstar drank himself to a career death, in this case the Shiv Sena has managed to revive and consolidate itself!
However, it’s the absolutely magnificent growth of the BJP in what was till recently an essentially Congress ruled state thats the story of the #Modi decade!
Let’s understand this.
The Congress began in BOMBAY; spread across the Bombay Presidency on the one hand, Marathwada, Khandesh and to a lesser extent Konkan on the other (that’s why Konkan has been Shiv Sena’s backyard for decades...since the Congress identity has always been confused and confusing here).
Vidarbha is where the RSS held and holds sway still; and therefore the BJP’s electoral and political strength has never waned in and around Nagpur.
But for BJP, to challenge the Congressised Western Maharashtra, go toe to toe with Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar and still remain standing is brilliant, bloody Brilliant!
I remember, in 1993, you would have to be really lucky to be able to shake hands with a BJP worker in Western Maharashtra; today you would be really fortunate to meet a functional Congress office in that part of the state!
So, what did BJP do right? And what did the Sena do right?
Fact: the Sena squabbled, screeched and squawked at BJP but did not leave the BJP.
Fact: the BJP felt hurt, wounded and angry at below the belt attacks from the Sena but maintained enviable sang froid with regard to its partner.
Fact: both Balasaheb Thackeray and LK Advani (with lots of help from the late Pramod Mahajan) laid such a foundation for the Sena-BJP Alliance that a divorce would be considered suicidal.
So why is the Sena pushing and the BJP pushing back?
That’s because politics is a very realistic proposition; it’s not a video game!
If the Shiv Sena does not push now with the shadow of Sharad Pawar’s NCP and a leaderless Congress behind it, they might as well dissolve the Shiv Sena and join the BJP.
And if the BJP does not show strength and pushback now, they would have frittered away all gains of the last three decades!
It’s like a husband and wife who love each other passionately; their fights are as passionate as their lovemaking! However flippancy aside, Maharashtra (like India) has evolved into a BJP bastion unapologetically sure and confident of itself in the articulation of its saffron identity!
Fadnavis’ second term will surpass his first for the sheer transformative work that is being planned! And the BJP can’t do it alone, they need the Sena with them! And the Shiv Sena needs the BJP as well!