Everything is definitely not well within Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi, as the alliance born out of the sole motive of ditching the people’s mandate and keeping BJP at bay from the power corridors in the state is now beginning to show its tremendous fault lines. Such is the condition of the alliance and its partners, that they are now taking to Twitter to slyly indulge in suggestive messaging, with the latest entrant being Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader, Ajit Pawar.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra (or so he is called), Uddhav Thackeray turned 60 yesterday, and the internet was flooded with birthday wishes for the man who became CM by backstabbing the BJP last year. However, birthdays aren’t meant for such small-time bickering, so even BJP leaders, including the Prime Minister extended greetings to the Shiv Sena supremo – all in good faith. Ajit Pawar’s greetings, however, were suggestive in nature and were also meant to send a clear message to the public as to in whose hands power rests in Maharashtra.
Best wishes to the Hon. CM of Maharashtra, ShivSena Party President & Maha Vikas Aghadi Leader, Shri. Uddhav Thackeray ji. Wish you a healthy & long life! @OfficeofUT @CMOMaharashtra pic.twitter.com/PlrNgNg508
— Ajit Pawar (@AjitPawarSpeaks) July 26, 2020
Along with his wishes, Pawar had tweeted a photo of him and the ‘Chief Minister’ sitting in an open-top car surrounded by a few other politicians, actor Aamir Khan and security personnel. What was interesting to notice, however, was the fact that Pawar was behind the steering wheel of the car while Thackeray was in the passenger seat. On any other day, such a tweet would invite no speculation and would obviously be perceived as two buddies having a good time in the open-top car. However, yesterday’s stroke of the midnight hour was different.
The tweet and the picture came hours after Shiv Sena supremo’s interview to Saamana, the party mouthpiece, where he likened the MVA government to a three-wheeled autorickshaw, with him occupying the “driver’s seat” alone. “The future of my government is not in the hands of the opposition…a three-wheeler is a vehicle of the poor,” Thackeray said in the two-part interview. “The steering wheel is in my hands. The other two are sitting behind,” the alleged Chief Minister at the helm of Maharashtra’s affairs went on to say.
Twitter was quick to notice what Ajit Pawar had done and immediately pointed out how this was a clear message to Uddhav Thackeray and the Sena, that the steering wheel of Maharashtra’s government was in the hands of the Pawars, and that the NCP could steer the same in any direction it deemed fit, which might even include ditching the MVA in the near future.
In any case, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, comprising of the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena has a multiplicity of complications to handle, which include a sense of being side-lined among the Congress and NCP quarters. Off late, Thackeray has allegedly come to impose himself unilaterally upon decision-making, which is not going down well with the other two partners. Congress and NCP leaders have been grumbling about Thackeray not consulting them enough, and instead, with the help of the bureaucracy, taking all decisions. It is in such an atmosphere that Ajit Pawar has put out the controversial tweet.