Maharashtra, in the past two weeks, has seen a lot of political twists and turns. Right from a huge win for BJP in Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) elections to Eknath Shinde’s rebellion against the MVA everything has been unprecedented. But what happened on Thursday, came as a shocker not just to the karyakartas of various parties, but also to the political pandits in Maharashtra. No one, in their wildest dreams, would’ve imagined, Devendra Fadnavis handing over the baton of Chief Minister to Eknath Shinde for a period till 2024. Before getting into the depth of this move, we must understand what exactly has Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena done in the past few days.
On 22nd June, when Eknath Shinde along with 30+ MLAs rebelled against the MVA government, Shiv Sena leadership did not made any serious effort to reconcile with them. Instead, Sanjay Raut and Aditya Thackeray went on to call the MLAs of their party as pigs, dead bodies and whatnot. Sanjay Raut tried to demean MLAs and senior Sena leaders like Gulabrao Patil or Sandipan Bhumre by bringing their past life professions into the discussion. But, Sanjay Raut, not being a mass leader, did not understand the dent he is making to the cadre of his own party, which is behind these leaders. In days to come, the MLAs withdrew their support from MVA and asked Shiv Sena leadership to break away from two parties NCP and INC, which were trying to sink the ship of Shiv Sena.
But, ignoring the appeal of the MLAs of their of own party, Shiv Sena preferred to stay in close relationship with these two parties and abandon a huge band of MLAs along with the cadre they have. This should be considered as one of the most idiotic and unthoughtful political moves of all time. In one of his Facebook live addresses, Shiv Sena Pramukh and the then CM Uddhav Thackeray tried to underline in a very clear manner that Shiv Sena is his family property. He challenged the MLAs to win elections by ‘BY not his Father’s name”. One by one, the Shiv Sena leadership, obviously under Sanjay Raut’s influence, cut all the possibilities of reconciling with the 40+ MLAs.
On 28th June 2022, LoP Devendra Fadnavis submitted a letter to the Governor of Maharashtra to ask the CM to prove his majority in the assembly by conducting a floor test, and accordingly the governor had directed a floor test on June 30. Shiv Sena challenged this decision and moved supreme court on 29th June. After all the arguments in the Supreme Court, the bench decided that the floor test will be conducted on 30th June itself and no delay will happen in it. As soon the verdict came, Uddhav Thackeray resigned in a very disgraceful manner on a Facebook live video address. The Janata of Maharashtra deserved the CM to at least resign in front of the assembly.
This is where BJP came into picture after being on the mute mode for more than a week. On 29th June 2022 itself, it was decided that Eknath Shinde will fly to Maharashtra on 30th June to speak with BJP leadership and present a letter to Governor to stake the claim to form a government with the help of BJP. All things were going as planned, but yet another twist was waiting for the Janata of Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis while addressing to media, made an announcement that shook the entire Maharashtra. He made an announcement that Eknath Shinde will become the 20th CM of Maharashtra with support from BJP. For a few moments, everyone, was shocked. No one could understand what had happened. But, Devendra Fadnvis had played the mother of all ‘masterstrokes’.
In one move, he destroyed the entire dynastic politics of Shiv Sena. ‘A Samanya (common Shiv Sainik) should become the CM’, the dream of Balasaheb got fulfilled because of Devendra Fadnavis and the BJP became the new perception. Dreams of Uddhav Thackarey to hand over the reigns of Shiv Sena to Aaditya Thackeray, shattered, as, now the Matoshree is not the power centre for Shiv Sainiks, but the Thane is. Sharad Pawar’s backroom politics has no place left in Maharashtra politics anymore and Devendra Fadnavis made it clear that there will be no place left for dynastic politics in days to come. The road for all the upcoming elections in the state for BJP have become much more easier with this move as the cadre that these 40+ MLAs have will stand behind Fadnavis without a doubt.
Devendra Fadnavis becoming the Deputy CM of Maharashtra, is not well received by the karyakartas in the state, but it is very necessary for him to stay in the cabinet and make sure all the developmental works, that he had started as CM, get streamlined and completed before the MahaYuddha in 2024. All the political Pandits, who claimed that they understand the politics of Devendra Fadnavis are left with nothing in their hand. As a citizen, I and thousands like me are happy that Hindutva and Developmental politics are back in the seat of power in Maharashtra. I wish all the New CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, all the very best for their super innings on the turf of Maharashtra.