What all transpired in the backdrop of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government being formed in Maharashtra has now come to fore. The alliance between Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP was never about the first two parties exercising any pre or post alliance control. In fact, the leash of the draconian and anti-mandate alliance has always firmly been in the hands of the NCP supremo – Sharad Pawar. It is the pursuit of the same leash, in fact, which had played a pivotal role in ensuring that the NCP, in complete contestation of the original plan, betrays the BJP.
You read that right! A book titled ‘Trading Power’ by Priyam Gandhi has now revealed the intricate details of the intense political powerplay which was witnessed last November in Maharashtra. The book states in no uncertain terms that the BJP and NCP were all set to form the government together after the Shiv Sena betrayed the saffron party. Gandhi in the book Trading Power even talks about the cabinet distribution between the two parties which had been finalized between Home Minister Amit Shah and Sharad Pawar. Other finer details had been worked out as well, and Pawar had suggested that President’s rule be imposed in Maharashtra, after which he committed to ensuring that there was no bad optics for the two parties forming a conflicting government together.
However, Sharad Pawar flipped. He did not follow through with the master plan devised along with the BJP. The Shiv Sena, allegedly, along with the Congress committed to handing all power over to the NCP, a lucrative deal which Pawar found difficult to reject. In an alliance with the BJP, the NCP would be second fiddle. With the Shiv Sena and Congress, it is quite literally running the show in Maharashtra.
Despite Sharad Pawar conveying to the BJP that their plan does not hold any longer, AjitPawar went forward and supported the saffron party’s claim to form the government. This supposed rebellion is what facilitated the swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister again, even while AjitPawar was appointed his Deputy. Due to the alienation of AjitPawar within the NCP, the BJP government was forced to resign.
The NCP has come forward and refuted such claims, and said that the book has been written at the behest of Devendra Fadnavis. “Party chief Sharad Pawar was since the beginning in favour of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to be the CM’s candidate of the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners,’’ NCP leader Nawab Malik said. “The book has been penned to improve Fadnavis’ image which was dented after that 80-hour government formation with Ajit Pawar,” claimed Malik.
The startling revelations bring to light the fact that the BJP was betrayed not once, but twice in Maharashtra. First, by the Shiv Sena, and then by the NCP. The happenings of last year from Maharashtra should serve as a lesson-in-point for the saffron party, that it should stop banking on its alleged allies, and start working towards strengthening itself in all states, so that it does not need to work out desperate formulas after any election, in whichever state concerned.