Another sordid chapter in India’s political history has ended, at least for now. A political drama that was scripted by the BJP in Delhi was only played out by Devendra Fadnavis and others in the Maharashtra BJP. Not only have they been left red-faced, but even constitutional authorities such as the President and the Governor also have not covered themselves with glory.
They have come across as rubber stamps of the political authority at the Centre. It will remain a mystery as to what drove Fadnavis to partner with Ajit Pawar, a political opponent he has so virulently attacked in the past, because there was no way the latter would have won the power tussle with his uncle and NCP chief, Sharad Pawar. The BJP had clearly barked up the wrong tree.
The unlikely Fadnavis-Ajit partnership was cut short by the Supreme Court, which ordered a floor test on Wednesday and nixed any attempt to trample on constitutional propriety and at horse-trading. Seeing the writing on the wall wherein they simply didn’t have the numbers, both Fadnavis and Ajit chose the honorable route out of the quagmire and resigned.
The BJP, Fadnavis and Ajit have lost face in the four-day political thriller, but the Maha Vikas Aghadi, a post-poll alliance comprising the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena, has also not come across as a principled combination.
While there is no denying that politics is all about the pursuit of power, it is ironic that ideologically opposite parties can come together only on the glue of anti-BJPism.
But once the Aghadi assumes charge, the parties need to put aside their differences and get down to the business of governance.
It has its task cut out, with farmers in distress, anger among Dalits and large parts of the state facing a perennial drought-like situation. It should avoid the path taken by the Congress-JD(S) alliance in neighbouring Karnataka.
In the southern state, the allies appeared to function more like foes rather than as partners, squabbling at every step that left the field open for the BJP to pull the rug from under their feet.