The Maharashtra Tragicomedy finally appears to have come to a close today. Devendra Fadnavis has returned as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra with senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar as the Deputy Chief Minister. Along the many twists and turns, some people stick out like a sore thumb as the biggest losers in the whole ruckus. In this article, we look at some of them.
1. Sanjay Raut
A prominent part of Sanjay Raut’s daily routine was to remind everyone through the media or social media that the next Chief Minister would be from Shiv Sena. He declared that Shiv Sena will have its Chief Minister of Maharashtra at any cost. The alarm bells should have started ringing when the Shiv Sena failed to show the requisite letters of support when they were invited to form the government by the Governor. Conveniently enough, Sanjay Raut at that moment was at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Raut is having a severe meltdown on Twitter. He doesn’t appear to be doing too well. One wonders how the other leaders of the Shiv Sena feel about him. They were all led down a rabbit hole by Raut and in the end, they were left with nothing in their hands to show for it. Raut flew too close to the stars and his political career turned into ashes.
2. Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray had a comfortable alliance going for him with its traditional partner. They fought the Maharashtra elections together, secured a comfortable majority in the Assembly and then disaster struck. It’s unclear whether Uddhav bought into the fancy tales of glory sold to him by Sanjay Raut or the latter was merely carrying out his master’s wishes. In the end, they have been made to look like clowns of the highest order.
The lowest point surely was when the Shiv Sena met the Governor in its attempt to form an alliance with the NCP and Congress but were left in the lurch without any letters of support. Then, Uddhav Thackeray ran from pillar to post in his bid to secure an alliance but to no avail. He could have led a political career with dignity with Devendra Fadnavis in the lead but then, a snake oil salesman came along and fed delusions of grandeur in his ears. Or was it him all along?
3. Arvind Sawant
This man was a Minister in the Modi government. Then, Sanjay Raut and Uddhav Thackeray had delusions of grandeur and they made him suffer for it. Sanjay Raut will be advised to stay clear of Arvind Sawant’s path for the next few weeks. Otherwise, the stay at the hospital could be much longer this time around.
People who believe this is an exaggeration should remember what happened between Congress MLAs in Karnataka. During the political drama that had erupted in the state, two Congress leaders ended up fighting with each other and one of them hit the other one with a bottle. So such things are not of the realm of possibilities. And as we have seen, in politics, anything can happen.
Moreover, the Shiv Sena has been spending a lot of time with the Congress lately. Therefore, some of its MLAs may have imbibed some of the Congress cultures. And it’s unclear by the way whether the Shiv Sena still remains a Hindutva party or has turned into a secular one.
4. Sharad Pawar
Although this could be a dodgy as the entire thing could very well have been planned with the consent of Sharad Pawar himself, there doesn’t appear to be any indication of it. Supriya Sule is reported to have posted a WhatsApp status that says there has been a split within the family and the party. Sharad Pawar has also said that this wasn’t the decision of the party. Regardless of what happens afterwards, today, he has been made to look like a fool.
Sharad Pawar was all hyped up and he was supposed to be the ‘Wily Fox’ who brought the march of the ‘Chanakya’ of Indian Politics to a halt but today, it appears he has been outfoxed entirely. All those who believed that he still ran the roost in Maharashtra are obviously mistaken. Sharad Pawar has been made to bow before the might of the Modi-Shah duo.
5. The ‘Neutral’ Media
Rajdeep Sardesai appears personally affected by the turn of events. He was so dumbstruck that he was finding it difficult to get words out of his mouth on national television. Journalists have never been known to be neutral but their partisanship was unbearable during the entire saga. They were salivating at the prospect of a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.
Nikhil Wagle was waxing eloquence on how the Shiv Sena was not exactly ‘Hindutva-Hindutva’ but only ‘Hindutva-Hindutva’ and so, the Congress shouldn’t hesitate to ally with the party. Arun Giri, reputed to be the first ‘election junkie’ in history who has never ever made an accurate prediction in his life, was desperate to see an alliance materialize between the three non-BJP parties.
Some were more partisan than others but there was partisanship across the spectrum. ‘Neutral’ journalists were openly trying to egg Congress towards an alliance with the Shiv Sena. Apart from the usual suspects, it’s these journalists and their credibility who have been dealt another crushing defeat.