The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the ‘secular’ alliance of Shiv Sena- NCP-Congress has been released, and ‘secularism’, which used to untouchable word for Shiv Sena a few months ago, is inserted in the preamble. “The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution,” reads the very first line of the CMP.
“On the contentious issue of national importance as well as of state importance especially having repercussions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus,” added the preamble of CMP.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (Congress-NCP forced Shiv Sena to remove Shiv from alliance name and replace it with Vikas) government also promised to give 80 per cent reservation to local youth. “A law shall be enacted to ensure 80 per cent reservation in jobs for local/domicile youth,” reads the CMP.
The job reservation to local youth is set to destroy the cosmopolitan nature of Mumbai; the free flow of talented human capital from length and breadth the country to financial capital. The city of Mumbai has majority of non-Marathi population; it is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious city. The alliance government is set to destroy the uniqueness of Mumbai, by giving 80 per cent reservation to local youth in jobs.
The alliance government is behaving like a typical Congress government and resorting to regional chauvinism; the Congress governments in MP, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh also brought similar bills to give job quota to local youth.
The CMP also have provisions for social justice and minority appeasement. As per the CMP, “The Government shall adopt various schemes to eliminate the social, educational and economic backwardness of the minority community and implement Constitutional safeguards for its security welfare in letter and spirit.”
The CMP has also left space for increasing the caste-based quota, but, the language has been kept vague with the promise to ‘solve the pending question’, “To solve the pending questions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Dhangar, Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Balutadars, etc. so as not to deprive the common people of basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, education, health and employment as enshrined in the Indian Constitution,” reads the CMP draft.
Like any other leftist government, the alliance has promised “Immediate loan waiver” to the farmers. Going through the CMP, one can easily decipher that all the ideological commitments of the Congress and NCP has been fulfilled while that of Shiv Sena has been kept at bay. All that Shiv Sena has got is CM chair, but at the cost of ideology.
The sudden turn of Shiv Sena on crucial ideological issues will cost the party committed voter base of the party.
In five decades of his political career, Balasaheb Thackeray always saw Congress and NCP as opponents. In the mid-80s, Shiv Sena came to power at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), by defeating Congress party, which has ruled the municipal authority for decades.
Balasaheb Thackeray has been a vocal opponent of Congress party, especially after Sonia Gandhi started controlling the party in the late 90s. Thackeray ferociously opposed Sonia Gandhi’s entry into politics and said that it would be better to hand over the country to British, rather than governed by an Italian lady.
Seven years after the death of the Hindutva icon, the party Supremo – Uddhav Thackeray made a phone call to Sonia Gandhi to seek her party’s support to form the government. In order to make his son Chief Minister of the state, Uddhav Thackeray is on the feet of the same Italian lady whom Bal Thackeray despised.
It is bizarre how the Shiv Sena is compromising on such critical issues. The party has clearly moved away with the strong ideological background that its founder, Balasaheb Thackeray had given to the party. Jammu & Kashmir BJP chief, Ravinder Raina, has also hit out at the Uddhav Thackeray led party over its attempt to form the government with the NCP and the Congress. He said, “Shiv Sena has insulted the memory of Balasaheb Thackeray who never compromised on the Hindutva ideology and principles. Shiv Sena has betrayed the people of this country.”
By compromising on both ideological issues on which Bal Thackeray popularized Shiv Sena among the common people of Maharashtra, the party has dug its own grave. Aditya Thackeray might become Chief Minister of the state for the next few years, but, by the next election, there will be no Shiv Sena for sure.