After a series of whirlwinds in Maharashtra, a government led by Uddhav Thackeray has been formed at last. The coalition of NCP, INC, and ShivSena was highly doubtful and astonishing, but with the efforts of mastermind Sharad Pawar what was thought to be impossible has come true. Although BJP arose as a largest party winning 122 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, it will now be an opposition party in the assembly. Would things have been different now if it wasn’t for mismanagement of this political game by BJP in Maharashtra? Let’s have a look over factors that contributed a state slipping out of the saffron party’s hands.
A critical mistake that the party made was to underestimate the power and politics of Sharad Pawar. The 78-year-old political champion, president of the National Congress Party, who is also a former chief minister of Maharashtra has a life long experience of strategies and diplomacy. In the formation of this government, he has played a key role as a mediator between ShivSena and Congress- who belonged to the extreme ends of the ideologies. The BJP completely failed to predict his moves and Amit Shah lost the game before him.
BJP also tried to poach Ajit Pawar who claimed to have the support of 54 NCP MLAs. BJP’s campaign was focussed on his irrigation scams, and for the hunger of power, he was lured regarding the scam inquiry underway. The deal is quite apparent since the inquiry of his irrigation scams was stopped when Devendra Fadnavis became the chief minister overnight. What BJP failed to understand was that the inquiry was bound to stop as NCP would be involved in the coalition government. However, Sharad Pawar not only managed to bring back his nephew but also reinstated his grip over NCP. It should also be noted that Sharad Pawar was issued a notice by ED before the election, which kind of strengthened him to rise against the BJP with all his abilities.
The pre-poll alliance with ShivSena was a stronger support to the BJP Maharashtra government. In spite of that, the major leaders of BJP lacked communication with the leaders of ShivSena which increased the disagreement between the two parties day by day. It was never in the public domain, what promises did the BJP make to ShivSena. However, considering the tough stand of Uddhav Thackeray it seems that BJP severely backed off on some of the assurances it made before. While Sanjay Raut is also to blame for the situation, the wait and watch strategy of BJP has dangerously backfired. Therefore, BJP’s poor judgment has cost it an important state of India.