Maharashtra Political Crisis – BJP’s Gain

The MVA came to power in Maharashtra in 2019 when Shiv Sena joined hands with the Congress and Nationalistic Congress Party (NCP) to form a coalition government.
Maharashtra Political Crisis – BJP’s Gain
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

The political crisis in Maharashtra is escalating downhill with over 40 sitting MLAs joining the rebel camp headed by state cabinet minister Eknath Shinde. While toppling the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in power is becoming almost imminent, this is proving to be a sure gain for the BJP.

The MVA came to power in Maharashtra in 2019 when Shiv Sena joined hands with the Congress and Nationalistic Congress Party (NCP) to form a coalition government. This coalition was headed by the Shiv Sena with 55 MLAs, followed by NCP with 53 MLAs and Congress with 44 MLAs.

However, the rebellion by dissident MLAs led by Shinde who have first camped in Gujarat and later flew down to Guwahati on Wednesday does not bode well for the MVA government.

Shinde hopes to form a strong alliance with the ruling BJP and with its support form a new party on the Hindutva and nationalistic ideology of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray. He even went on to claim that he and his supporters are staunch Shiv Sainiks and would never diverge from the teachings of Thackeray or ‘cheat’ to acquire power.

Shinde claims to have the support of over 40 MLAs. The dissident MLAs comprising of 33 from Shiv Sena and seven independent MLAs have already pledged their support to him by putting down their signatures in a letter.

At least 34 dissident MLAs of Shiv Sena have already pronounced Shinde as their leader in a letter addressed to the Governor and deputy speaker of the Maharashtra state assembly. They have cited deep rooted discontent among party cadres over alliance with Congress and NCP to be prime reason leading to the dissidence.

They have reportedly claimed that that Congress and Sharad Pawar led NCP are ideologically opposed to the Shiv Sena, although the three parties had forged alliance to come into power in the state.

Shinde also requires the support of at least 37 MLAs to protect them from the anti-defection law.

Meanwhile, the BJP government in Assam has landed its full support to these dissident MLAs, who are lodged at the Hotel Radisson Blu in Guwahati. There are widespread speculations of Shinde forming an alliance with the BJP to form a government in Maharashtra.

The saffron party and its leaders are all too keen to see the transition of power from the MVA government to their own hands. In fact, BJP leaders and leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra state assembly, Devendra Fadnavis are already engaged in discussions to explore the possibility of forming a new government.

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil also said that if Shinde proposes to form a new government the party would definitely consider. This would be a great victory for the saffron party indeed.

The BJP currently has 106 MLAs in the 288-member house, whose effective strength now is 285.

On the other hand, Bal Thackeray’s son and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that he is ready to put down the resignation if the dissident MLAs officially demand. This announcement plummets the political crisis further, with a resignation by the Chief Minister becoming imminent in the near future.

Now it remains to be seen whether BJP will join hands with a new political party to be formed by Shinde to lead a new government in Maharashtra.

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