The BJP has hit a number of targets with one bullet — bringing Ajit Pawar into Maharashtra’s ruling coalition. Essentially the most seen of them is the social gathering’s revenge on Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Get together and the Shiv Sena. It additionally establishes Devendra Fadnavis’s dominance in Maharashtra politics. The BJP’s major purpose, although, is to win many of the 48 seats of Maharashtra within the subsequent 12 months’s Lok Sabha elections.
For a victory in 2024, Maharashtra is essential. It has the second-largest variety of seats after Uttar Pradesh. Now, with coming collectively of Ajit Pawar and Eknath Shinde, the BJP will acquire entry to areas the place it has not been historically robust. Within the final Lok Sabha election, the BJP had contested on 25 seats and Shiv Sena on 23 seats. The BJP gained 23 seats and the Sena gained 18. The NCP had gained 4 seats.
Yet one more purpose of the BJP was to rein in Eknath Shinde, who has these days been flexing muscle groups. Mr Fadnavis, who had promoted Mr Shinde, had not bargained to play second fiddle to him. The previous 12 months of the Eknath Shinde authorities has set off a number of tussles between the 2 events.
However what made the BJP sit up and take discover was a current commercial in a day by day that cited a survey to assert that Mr Shinde is extra standard than Mr Fadnavis.
With the entry of Ajit Pawar into the equation, the BJP’s dependence on Mr Shinde has decreased.
That is additionally handy in view of the disqualification discover in opposition to Mr Shinde and his loyalists, which needs to be settled by August 11. Any resolution to disqualify the 40 MLAs of the Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena would have pushed the BJP authorities into minority within the state meeting.
The BJP’s defeat in Kasbapeth meeting by-election – one in all its key strongholds within the state after 28 years — to the Congress, plus some Legislative Council elections additionally made it crucial to chop the Maha Vikas Aghadi all the way down to measurement.
The collection of BJP defeats had breathed new life into the MVA, which acquired additional enthused after the social gathering’s rout in Karnataka. The state of affairs made it clear that if the MVA stays robust, the BJP’s Mission 2024 in Maharashtra will undergo a setback.
The 2019 meeting elections have been fought collectively by the BJP and Shiv Sena. In the course of the election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Residence Minister Amit Shah had mentioned many instances that the federal government might be shaped below the management of Devendra Fadnavis.
When the outcomes have been introduced, the alliance additionally acquired a transparent majority, with the BJP profitable 105 of the state’s 288 meeting seats. The Shiv Sena got here a distant second with solely 56 seats. However the Sena’s insistence on the Chief Minister submit scuttled the alliance and President’s Rule needed to be imposed.
As a last-ditch effort, the BJP tied up with Ajit Pawar, who, together with Mr Fadnavis, have been sworn in by the Governor in an early morning ceremony. However then all NCP MLAs besides Ajit Pawar sided with Sharad Pawar and the federal government collapsed after three days.
On the time, Sharad Pawar had cleverly negotiated behind the scenes to make BJP seem energy hungry – a truth the veteran chief himself claimed not too long ago. End result — Uddhav Thackeray joined palms with the Congress and NCP to type authorities.
The BJP’s alternative got here final 12 months.
In one of many social gathering meets, Eknath Shinde had credited Devendra Fadnavis with engineering the break up within the Sena. On its half, the BJP countered the “power-hungry” allegation by naming Mr Shinde the Chief Minister. The social gathering’s Central leaders took it a step additional by persuading Devendra Fadnavis to just accept the position of his Deputy.
The break up in NCP was the BJP’s large revenge in opposition to Sharad Pawar, although this time, it had much less to do.
Ajit Pawar was massively upset when his uncle withdrew his resignation in Could. The transfer to call Supriya Sule the inheritor obvious dashed his hopes for the long run.
Steady, behind-the-scenes talks with Ajit Pawar had achieved the trick. What escalated Sharad Pawar’s humiliation was bringing his shut aides and loyalists like Praful Patel and Chhagan Bhujbal into the insurgent camp.
(Akhilesh Sharma is Govt Editor & Anchor, NDTV India)
Disclaimer: These are the private opinions of the writer.