In a night coup, after President Rule in Maharashtra was revoked at 5:47 AM on Saturday morning, Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar of NCP was sworn in as the Deputy CM. Considering the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress alliance was in the news till yesterday, this has come as a shocker to all political pundits who had not foreseen this move by a mile.
Sharad Pawar has, however, come out to distance himself from the alliance. He has said that this decision was a personal decision of Ajit Pawar and did not have official NCP sanction.
BJP has put the blame squarely on Sanjay Raut’s shoulder. “Verbal diarrhoea will be the right phrase to use for him. Even many Shiv Sena MLAs are frustrated with him and they may also think of going with us”, said Girish Mahajan of BJP about Sanjay Raut.
While Sanjay Raut was the motormouth making several statements disparaging BJP, all was not well in the party. Several MLAs were unhappy with their conduct. Shiv Sena had essentially broken their alliance with the BJP post-Maharashtra Assembly Elections since it was adamant on getting the Chief Minister’s position and BJP, being the larger party with more seats, had refused to entertain the tantrums. A section of MLAs were unhappy that Uddhav Thackeray is sacrificing party interests at the altar of his love for his son.
Uddhav Thackeray was essentially hankering for the position of the Chief Minister for his son Aditya Thackeray. It is, of course, a separate matter that even his love for his son gave way to love of power and he had later accepted that he himself would become the Chief Minister.
While the father-son duo was hankering for power, the discontent brewing in the party was summarily brushed under the rug.
One recalls that a fight had erupted between Shiv Sena elected MLAs as they engaged in abusive arguments over Uddhav Thackeray’s insistence on the post of Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray had to rush to the hotel following a revolt by Sena MLAs. Shiv Sena MLAs were being kept at The Retreat Hotel in Mumbai’s Malad due to the fear of poaching. The fight between Shiv Sena MLAs had taken place at the resort itself.
It is being reported through sources now after Devendra Fadnavis has been sworn in as the Chief Minister, that up to 21 Shiv Sena MLAs might just break away from the Shiv Sena and join the BJP-Ajit Pawar government.
With such discontent brewing in the party for long, one only wonders how long it would be before the Shiv Sena breaks up with rebels unhappy with the handling of the situation by Uddhav Thackeray.
With the Governor giving BJP time till 30th November to prove their numbers in the state, the game seems to have just begun.