Mockery of Mandate
The fate of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government’s came to a grinding halt within 80 hours after he took oath as Maharashtra’s Chief Minister for second time. This termination of the government followed the Supreme Court order for a floor test. Now Uddhav Thackeray is in the saddle as Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Here, it is apt to mention that the electorate of Maharashtra handed over the mandate in favour of BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the electoral battle held in October to the state Assembly but, lately, it saw the coming together of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, which is being rightly described by political analysts as an unscrupulous and opportunistic alliance. This illogical, irrational and unconvincing arrangement has plunged the state to political uncertainty and administrative instability, as there is a big question mark on the longevity of Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation. In fact, in the guise of saving democracy, in Maharashtra, we have a CM from a party with just 56 MLAs in a house of 288! What Shiv Sena did was outright blackmail and NCP and Congress sold their ‘secular’ soul at the altar of power to keep out BJP, and experts talk about federalism, Constitution and democracy even as every politician trample them out of greed and insult the voters. The will of the people is not reflected in the government formation in Maharashtra and democracy has literally failed by allowing a blackmailer to become the CM. Having said this, it cannot be gainsaid that the sanctity of pre-poll alliances should be maintained, if the will of the people is to be respected in a democratic set up, as now what we have in Maharashtra is a government not voted for by the people. It should be understood first that this is not the end of this episode, but now a new dilemma politics is beginning as there are a lot of questions: Will this government of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress be sustainable? The originator of this story is Sharad Pawar, an elderly leader of NCP, who is considered to be the best player of political manipulation. For the first time in 1978, he became the Chief Minister of Maharashtra with similar sabotage. Today, he is standing by the the Shiv Sena, but in 2014 he indirectly helped the Bharatiya Janata Party pass the floor test in the Assembly. And now he has managed to convince Shiv Sena that Shiv Sena’s growth is not possible under the umbrella of Bharatiya Janata Party. But this is contradictory. So now, will Shiv Sena grow under the umbrella of NCP and Congress? Or will these two parties protect their existence under the umbrella of Shiv Sena? Many kinds of personal interests collide in this sacrificial fire.
One would not concur with the government formation in Maharashtra, but it is futile to look at this from the point of ideology, morality or constitutional order, since none of the parties subscribe to them, although they harangue one another with this tool. Congress is still there as a national party despite resorting to such tactics, time and again in the past. NCP that did the same decades back to Congress is in bed with Congress now. Shiv Sena’s (nay the family’s) ambition for power under the camouflage of Martha Pride is known to all. BJP is on fast track to become a Congress clone. Being a relatively new national party, it has dashed the hopes of Indians, who had become cynical of machinations of Congress and regional parties. None of the parties and politicians have any dignity, let alone allegiance to the common sense of bare minimum morality and fear of shame. Ever since the 1950s, Governors have been used and abused by the Central government. The Constitutional position has been reduced to that of a puppet dancing to the tunes of its masters in Delhi. Singling out only the BJP for chastising is singularly unfair. It has done nothing which has not been done before by earlier dispensations, especially ones led by the Indian National Congress. Quite unfortunately, instead of setting out a new ethical and moral precedent, it finds it more convenient to continue with ‘established tradition’. Hence, in what has happened in Maharashtra, the biggest losers are the electorate and, of course, image of India.
By Deepak Kumar Rath