Maharashtra, the state housing the financial capital of India, is having a roller coaster ride. The state has become the epicentre of human betrayal. Shiv Sena, the current ruling party is facing a revolt from its own members. Now, the question is what will happen next? Who will be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra?
Conundrum in Maharashtra
The contemporary political crisis in Maharashtra has now become a point of discussion at every nook and corner. All this started with Eknath Shinde. The senior Shiv Sena leader along with several other MLAs of the party moved to Surat, a city in BJP-governed Gujarat, leaving the coalition government panicking. Shinde took away more than 30 MLAs with himself. The fight escalated when the Shiv Sena leadership accused BJP of bribing its members to create a feud in the party. The problem got complicated when Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray decided to vacate the CM’s residence.
This is not the first time that Maharashtra politics is under distress. The political journey of the state has been in doldrums for quite some time now. The political history of Maharashtra is mired with betrayals. There is a saying in Marathi- “Ata tumchi padhi aali” (Now, it’s your turn). This time, it seems, it is Shiv Sena’s turn.
History of Maharashtra political crisis
During the 2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Elections, Shiv Sena and BJP contested the elections under a joint alliance of Maha Yuti. On the other hand, Indian National Congress (INC) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) contested under the alliance of Maha Aghadi.
In the 2019 elections, Shiv Sena won 56 seats and BJP won 105 seats. On the other hand, INC won 44 seats and NCP won 54 seats. With this, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena alliance secured a victory by crossing the required majority of 145 seats in the Assembly elections. The alliance won a total of 161 seats. Whereas, the opposition led by INC and NCP alliance along with independents secured just 106 seats, slipping from the line of majority.
With this, Shiv Sena demanded an equal share in power with their man on the Chief Ministerial chair for 2.5 years as per the 50- 50 agreement. But soon, BJP refused the proposal, and the reigning CM of the BJP, Devendra Fadnavis denied any such formula to be executed.
This eventually resulted in Shiv Sena breaking ties with BJP. The former further joined hands with the Maha Aghadi alliance of INC and NCP forming the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) with a total count of 154 seats. Finally, the MVA alliance agreed to form a government under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister.
The 2019 political crisis in the state of Maharashtra had already caused the administrative setup to function in the dark. And once again, the old dusted political history is knocking on the doors for another betrayal but this time it’s within the ruling party.
The current numbers roving under Maharashtra politics
The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has a total of 288 seats. However, one is vacant leading the number to 287 because of the death of a Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke. And any party or coalition needs 145 seats to achieve a majority.
Currently, BJP holds 106 seats(it had won one in a by-poll), Congress has 44, NCP has 53, and Shiv Sena has 56 seats in the Assembly. Depending upon the new MLAs joining this share of seats, the numbers can vary in the future.
The Shinde camp currently has the support of around 40 MLAs. Further, if the camp secures two-thirds of the total with over 37 Sena MLAs, then they will not be disqualified under the anti-defection law. The law simply lays out the disqualification of elected representatives if they change political parties for the sake of executive office or other gains. It aims to bring political stability and demand accountability from the legislatures.
The BJP can get the Shinde camp to merge with it to form a majority in the assembly. To an extent, this is not a wrong option for Maharashtra politics as breaking away was always on the cards in Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP alliance. It is just because of the ideological differences between Congress and NCP on one side, and Shiv Sena on the other. After the floor test, the coalition of BJP and rival factions of Shiv Sena may end up ruling the state.
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