Maharashtra – Pawar central to power dynamics

Maharashtra – the suspense is on. The government formation has become the biggest game. Forming it is a game, not forming it is yet another one and looking for options keep the satta alive. The state may be in a stalemate. But satta – the illicit speculation – is ruling the roost. It’s a huge turnover every day. So nobody is at a loss. Everyone in the arena has a stake in that market. But will there be a government? Would the president’s rule continue? Except the BJP as of now no one wants the Rashtrapati to rule the state. The BJP is also not quiet. It wants to be a partner in progress. Internal feud is its problem. Central minister Nitin Gadkari and reportedly BJP president Amit Shah are not on the same page with Devendra Fadnavis. Both for different reasons wanted Shiv Sena  (SS) to part the way and they succeeded. Fadnavis is for now may find it difficult to come back. Internecine war within the fold has claimed his career. This is an oft discussed story in the Maharashtra unit. It is said the state poll slogan Delhi me Narendra and Maharashtra me Devendra cost Fadnavis dear. That does not mean the BJP has stopped its parleys or efforts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden praise of Sharad Pawar’s NCP during the inaugural day of the 250th session of Rajya Sabha surprised many. Two days later Pawar’s meeting with Modi raised many eyebrows. In the past too there had been occasions when NCP had come to help the BJP.Octogenarian Pawar is certainly astute politician. He keeps cards close to his chest. BJP per se would not mind forming a government with him. Pawar may have different plans. He knows sailing with BJP would not benefit his successors. Being a political animal he would always maintain a bridge with all those who are politically important. His parleys with Congress apparently are fruitful. He is able to rope in Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in his bid to have an alternate. A long ouster from power is not in the interest of either Congress or Pawar. Controlling a state swells party coffers. None is disinterested in grabbing it. The rift between BJP and SS stretches from sharing largesse of BMC – Bombay Municipal Corporation to various ministries. Congress and the NCP would not like to miss it. Both are masters of Maharashtra’s industry, sugarcane and other lobbies including the satta market. Who would not like have a pie of it? Still the observers are in a quandary. Is it really shaping up?, they wonder. Pawar is continuing with a meeting at his residence after coming out the parleys with Sonia. The SS spokesman Sanjay Raut now says, “all obstacles have been cleared”. The obstacles are how the ministries would be shared. The NCP also has aspirants for deputy CM’s position. So has the Congress. Other pesky issues are how to distribute key 43 offices.  Apparently the formula among SS-NCP-Cong is likely to be a consensus on 16-15-12 cabinet berths. Till it is formed it is all in the realm of speculation. But as it appears Pawar may stitch a new combine though BJP is still in dialogue with many MLAs. Having a new government there of any hue in the coming few days may not be unlikely. Either way it can change the political dynamics of the nation.(image by PIB)

———————————————————————–Shivaji Sarkar

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