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Issue No.: 570 | December 2014
 

Maharashtra Elections

Ashok Karnik
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A wise person examines all sides before coming to a conclusion.

POINT

The election results in Maharashtra (October 19, 2014) were more or less on anticipated lines. The rout of the Congress and NCP with or without their alliance was the writing on the wall. What added uncertainty to the battle was the break-up of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. With the partners of 25-long years fighting each other, the result became a little uncertain. It opened a door for the Congress to score some points. In the end, it did not help the Congress or the NCP but denied a steam-roller majority to the saffron combine. Both the BJP and the Shiv Sena improved on their 2009 performance but did not get a majority on their own. The BJP emerged as the bigger party almost able to form a Government on its own. The Sena-BJP combine could have crossed the 200 mark but fratricidal instincts prevailed. The Sena, in particular, missed a wonderful opportunity to capture power and had to wait for the BJP to throw crumbs at it. The Shiv Sena emerged as the junior partner whereas for the last 25 years it was the elder brother. Its lack of foresight landed it in this position. In politics, miscalculations can be expensive. The NCP played a clever ploy by declaring unconditional support to the BJP-led Government from outside blunting the Sena’s power thrust.
COUNTER POINT

The BJP may not be able to accept the tainted NCP’s help but it has used the NCP support to blunt the Sena’s bargaining capacity. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has touched the near vanishing point by getting one seat. Its leader Raj Thackeray’s programme of implementing his blueprint to transform Maharashtra has ended up in smoke - too much sound and fury over nothing, but that is his trademark! The BJP’s plan to develop as a major party in all important states has succeeded to a great extent. In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena gave the BJP cause to break the alliance and to humiliate it further while forming the Government without its support; the gamble paid off to the lasting regret of the Sena. The Sena overplayed the Marathi ‘Asmita’ (Marathi Pride) card too often and devalued it. The Sena went from abusive defiance to demands to requests and haggling for posts from one day to the next losing cohesiveness and respect. Where is the ‘Asmita’ in this? Uddhav Thackeray will live to regret his hesitation in taking unilateral decision like the NCP to support the new Government unconditionally and stop grovelling. Had he done so the Sena could have retained its ‘Asmita’ and also got Governmental posts it badly needed!
Readers are invited to email their points of view on serious issues of the day to ashokkarnik2001@yahoo.co.in. 

Readers who do not have the facility of a computer can also post (mail) their points of view on serious issues of the day to "Point Counter Point”, c/o Freedom First, 3rd floor, Army & Navy Building,
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