Mumbai diary: Mission Mantralaya for BJP, test for Maratha strongman and more

It takes no saying that Sharad Pawar is the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
Sharad Pawar (L) and Uddhav Thackeray (R)
Sharad Pawar (L) and Uddhav Thackeray (R)

Test for Maratha strongman

It takes no saying that Sharad Pawar is the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. Whenever the government fell in trouble, the NCP supremo successfully handled the situations as a troubleshooter for the Uddhav Thackeray government in the last 19 months. Another front has now opened with central agencies knocking on the door of the leaders. This time, the trouble has landed right at the doorstep of the Pawar family and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. It will be interesting to see how the veteran politician will handle this delicate and turbulent situation.

Mission Mantralaya for BJP

BJP is still smarting being in opposition despite being the single largest party in Maharashtra with 105 legislators. What is also known is its desperation to return to power, especially after it burnt itself badly in Bengal elections. The BJP brass is hell-bent to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government by using all means before the Uttar Pradesh polls. Two top BJP leaders are directly dealing and handling the situation — while one is said to be directly dealing with Uddhav Thackeray and another with the NCP leadership. No state leader is involved on this secret plan. But on June 29, a top BJP leader from Maharashtra was briefed about this confidential development in Delhi and asked to be ready for a new political alignment in the state, a party source said.

Of vaulting ambition and heartburn

After taking charge of Congress, Nana Patole decided to expand and strengthen the base of the party in every nook and corner of the state. The OBC leader, who has a significant base in rural Maharashtra particularly Vidarbha, declared himself as the Congress face in the state and one of the major contenders for the chief minister if Congress comes to power. But Patole’s ambition has not gone well with senior Congress leaders. They decided not to cooperate with him. Patole, in his recent Delhi tour, briefed the leadership on the reality of the party affair in Maharashtra.

Don’t upset the apple cart: NCP to Congress

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray expressed his displeasure over Congress state chief Nana Patole’s stand of issuing anti-government and contesting elections on its own in pandemic. Congress state observer HK Patil and other senior leaders asked Patole to suspend his north Maharashtra tour and summoned to Delhi as well for warning him not to disturb the Maha Vikas Aghadi  government. A senior NCP leader advised the Congress to enjoy the fruits of being in power and not to behave irresponsibly. Uddhav could use this as an excuse to break away from this three-party alliance and go back to his old ally BJP, he added.

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