Maharashtra poll: Ideology is history, it's only 'grab the power' now

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Maharashtra poll
The result of the Maharashtra assembly election has given rise to a peculiar situation. The BJP has emerged the largest party with 123 seats but yet it has to depend on either of the second or third-ranked parties to go past the magic figure of 146 to form its own government in the state.

The Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are making full use of the opportunity to create pressure on the BJP. The aim is simple: To bag the chief minister's chair through the blackmailing tactics.

This situation in Maharashtra has made evident the fact that it is only power that matters in politics and the opportunist forces will go to any extent for its sake.

NCP ready to back BJP after the latter called it Naturally Corrupt Party!

Just imagine the case where the NCP is thinking about extending outside support to the BJP, as TV reports claimed. This it is doing despite the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi targetted it as a "naturally corrupt party". It is also doing it forgetting conveniently that it had projected its alliance with the Congress as a 'secular' counterweight to the BJP-Shiv Sena's 'communal' union. In fact, the NCP and Congress didn't care to give their alliance a second chance once the seat-sharing formula crumbled. Just as the Shiv Sena refused to accommodate the BJP on its terms.

Alliance management capacity has eroded?

The way the two long-term alliances changed into bitter adversity tells how much hollow are our parties' political and ideological values. These two opposing alliances had established a model exclusive to Maharashtra since 1999 but a slip in the capacity of alliance management has hurt it seriously.

BJP-Sena problems not new but earlier there were leaders who worked on the differences

Take a look at the BJP-Sena alliance for example. It is not the first time that these two parties had a problem over establishing supremacy. In the 1990 election, the Sena had more MLAs than the BJP. In 1991, Chhagan Bhujbal split the Shiv Sena and joined the Congress, allowing the BJP to stake claim on the Opposition leader in the state assembly. Late Gopinath Munde became the Leader of the Opposition.

In 1995, when the Sena-BJP alliance got majority after the election, the Sena got the chief minister because it had more number of seats. The BJP got the deputy chief minister's post. There was a tension between the two allies over important departments but both camps had leaders who successfully negotiated between themselves and the obstacles were overcome.

Bal Thackeray had good relation with Vajpayee & Advani, something which is missing today

Late Sena founder Bal Thackeray also had a good relation with BJP leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani and it had helped the two parties in maintaining a working relation. The current leaderships of both the BJP and Sena lack that rapport and the result is visible in the alliance mismanagement.

The secular-communal facade has vanished once the parties have sensed power

The same was also witnessed during the Lok Sabha election earlier this year when the possibility of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) getting closer to the BJP annoyed the Sena and its counter threat to field candidates in Uttar Pradesh forced the BJP to draw the line between itself and the MNS.

Modi & Shah have done their bit, now it's over to the state leadership of BJP: Can it deliver?

The BJP, despite its three-digit tally, will have a big challenge in heading the administration in Maharashtra. The issue of selecting the chief ministerial candidate will be another question that the saffron party will have to answer. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have done what they could till this point. From here on, it will all depend on the skills of the state leadership.

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