MUMBAI: Devendra Fadnavis might have returned to power but he will be a relatively weaker CM than he was during his first term, with the BJP only winning around a hundred seats -- way fewer than its 2014 tally.
Fadnavis was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the first Maharashtra CM in over 40 years to have successfully completed five years in office. In his second innings, however, there is no such guarantee.
The Shiv Sena has already queered the pitch by insisting on a 50:50 power-sharing formula. Whether it means 2.5 years as CM or a deal that sees the Sena getting plum posts in the cabinet will be clear very soon. Whichever way things move, this will ultimately weaken Fadnavis.
The Sena has already raised its voice against the Metro depot on Aarey colony land and the Greenfield refinery project at Nanar in Ratnagiri. The new government might have to shelve such ambitious projects or alter them. This won't be to Fadnavis’ advantage.
The Chief Minister had tight control over key departments like home and urban development. In the emerging scenario, there is every likelihood of him having to let go of control over these departments. This will weaken him further and more importantly arrest the pace of governance.
Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta were some of the senior ministers denied tickets by the party. The BJP will now be obliged to listen to them as well as other disgruntled elements. This means Fadnavis will be more dependent on Delhi and leaders like state party chief Chandrakant Patil.