Hard Lessons For BJP After Disastrous Maharashtra Misadventure

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Now that the BJP’s experiment in Maharashtra has boomeranged and leaving the party red- faced, there are pertinent questions that needs to be asked which the nation really wants to know with candidly.
A) BJP delegation which included Devendra fadnavis after having met the Governor first said that they did not have the numbers . Their number was 105? So why the U- turn soon after.

B) Under whose instructions did Devendra Fadnavis re- think to form the government knowing fully well he was short of numbers.
C)  What was the urgency to revoke President’s rule at 5: 47 am ?

D)  Why did Prime Minister Narendra Modi use special powers i.e. under Rule 12,

The Prime Minister has special powers to bypass the need for Union Cabinet’s recommendation for revocation President’s Rule in Maharashtra. The rule also stipulates that to invoke it, the proposal should be accompanied by a “detailed justification clearly bringing out the urgency involved in the matter and the exceptional circumstances that require it to be processed under Rule 12”.

According to rules, imposition or revocation of President’s Rule needs a go-ahead from the Union cabinet. But in this case it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who gave the green signal.

E)  Why was the oath taking ceremony administered by Governor done in secrecy at 7 : 30 am?

F)  Why did BJP trust Ajit Pawar so blindly and expect him to break the NCP and bring the required MLA’s?

G)  Did they underestimate the prowess of wily Sharad Pawar?

These are questions only BJP can answer in the coming days if they do . Had Fadnavis stood by his earlier stand of not having the numbers he would have got respect . But this mid-night coup termed ‘Maha Mastermaster stroke ‘ was a absolute disaster.

What this issue has done that it has brought the high office of the – President, Governor under the scanner. Why were Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah so desperate to form the government in Maharashtra? No one really knows.

Or the BJP emboldened by acts in Manipur, Goa, Karnataka believed that they could pull it off in Maharashtra as well. And they were further buoyed by the slogan – Modi Hai toh Mumkin Hai. Little did they fathom that a certain Maratha stalwart – Sharad Pawar would halt their juggernaut with his shrewd political chemistry. Thanks to the Supreme Court and their timely intervention, ordering floor test and Devendra Fadnavis resigning citing lack of numbers, democracy was restored.

It was indeed sad to see BJP brazenly opting for Operation Lotus on the one hand and then having a joint session of parliament addressed by President to observe the 70th year of our Constitution. This was hypocrisy at it’s best.

This Maharashtra episode is a big blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. They have been outsmarted by Sharad Pawar. No doubt on this. ED notice to Sharad Pawar fired him up.  Pawar had given a telling statement  before the SC ruling on floor test – this is not Goa or Manipur this Maharashtra. This in a subtle way was a warning to Modi- Shah duo that do not mess with me.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was apparently lamenting the absence of opposition parties inside Parliament during 70th year of the Constitution Day. When the BJP continuously paints the opposition as anti- national and leaving no stone unturned to drive home a point that India started moving only after 2014 and ridiculing all Prime Minister’s before 2014, one surely cannot expect opposition to cooperate with government when it wants. To clap a hand you need two hands. As simple as that !

BJP and the NDA today unfortunately do not have a  leader who can bridge this government – opposition enemity and bitter political discourse with bonhomie. George Fernandes, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley had this unique ability. Hence they are missed badly. They were all politicians who were part of the Vajpayee – Advani era. Now, BJP in the aggressive  and rhetorical Modi- Shah era things like camaraderie have clearly taken the back- seat. And this scenario is clearly seen .

Perhaps the biggest fall-out of the Maharashtra episode is how the BJP from now on handle their allies. If the Shiv Sena after 30 years decided to part ways then things are certainly not good. Other allies too if they find the BJP giving them step-motherly treatment might just re- think their alliance with the saffron brigade. Hence it is time for BJP to shed some of its arrogance and show some magnanimity. And accept constructive criticism. To term every criticism as anti- national and language of Pakistan will not help matters either. Slamming Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for intolerance remark and then inviting him to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (including a selfie with Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is sheer hypocrisy .

Maharashtra has some lessons for BJP. It is time they ponder over it seriously in the year’s ahead. Merely coining slogans like – sabka sath sabka vikas sabka vishwas have no meaning until it is visible on the ground.

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