By Kushal Jeena
Decks have now been cleared for the formation of a government in key state of Maharashtra with both Nationalist Congress Party and Congress agreeing to join the government to provide the new incumbent a stability ensuing that the government lasts for full term of five years.
The Sena led government that is expected to come into being shortly will have a combination of both experienced and young leaders.
The coming together of Sena, Congress and NCP for the first time in the political history of India’s most industrialized state of Mahrashtra has come up as a se vere jolt for the BJP as the new political equations have the enough social strength to keep the BJP out of power in the state for a long time. The Congress party is expected to get the office of Speaker in the upcoming assembly. The much-awaited deal was struck after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar persuaded Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to participate in the government from within because the experience the Congress leaders carry with them is badly required at a time when Shiv Sena would head a government.
The governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari came under severe criticism after he refused to grant three day to opposition Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress who claimed have the majority. He had given more than 10 days to the ruling BJP to drum up support of the legislatures to for the government. The Shiv Sena has knocked the door of the Supreme Court challenging governor’s decision.
The BJP failed to garner support as its old ally Shiv Sena parted company on the issue of Chief Minister. Sena wanted its leader be made the Chief Minister for the first two and half years under a 50:50 formula that was agreed upon the two allies before the state assembly elections.
The dead lock, the political analysts say might end in few days as the Congress that has emerged as a deciding factor with winning 44 seats in the recently held assembly elections as Congress and the NCP have approached Shiv Sena under which NCP would participate in the government with deputy chief minister ship and Congress would support it from outside and will have one of its member as Speaker of the House that is yet to be constituted.
Maharashtra is considered to be among the richest states in India for it being highly industrialized that contributes highest dividends to the financial health of the state. Its capital Mumbai is globally known as the financial capital of India.
A recently held assembly polls had thrown a hung assembly. No political formation is in a position to form a government without having alliance. The Shiv Sena and Congress have asked Sena to sign off a common minimum programme to run Sena led government.
The dilemma of the Congress President Sonia Gandhi came to fore after NCP Chief Sharad Pawar had a meeting with her and discussed all the possibilities of government formation in India’s highly industrialized state. Pawar’s NCP, a regional outfit is an ally of the Congress. The Congress President seems agreed to extend support to Sena-NCP government from outside provided they ink a CMP to incorporate few demands of the party including waiving off farmers loan and Sena shunning its image of hard Hindutva, which Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thakrey seems to have agreed upon.
The reluctance of the Sena chief Uddhav Thackrey on joining BJP-led coalition hit road block after he refused to compromise on the office of chief minister and asked BJP to stick to its commitment of 50: 50 sharing. The stand that Thackeray has taken triggered a panic within the BJP.
The situation as of now demands that the Congress should allow Pawar to take the lead because being head of a regional party known for having a broad political network, the situation suits him better. He is also in constant touch with Sena leaders. The Congress can ill-afford such a situation.
The numbers required to reach to half-way-mark are placed in such a way in the Maharashtra assembly that it seems almost impossible for the BJP to prove majority without having the support of Shiv Sena.
In a move to appease a sulking Shiv Sena, the BJP had offered anywhere between 13-15 ministerial berths to Shiv Sena. However, the Thackeray-led party turned down the offer saying it would not settle for anything less than the chief minister’s chair. Earlier, Sena walked out of alliance following the resignation of one of its minister in the central government.