BY : MADHUSHREE PAUL
Yes, you read that right. The “Melodrama” that was staged by BJP, Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in the 2019 Maharashtra Elections. And with this melodrama, ingloriously, for the 3rd time, President’s rule was introduced in Maharashtra since its formation. The reason for introducing the President’s rule is even worse, the inability to form a government by the political parties. Thankfully, it did not persist for long but was introduced nevertheless.
Why was the President’s Rule introduced in a state like Maharashtra which holds the Capital city of the economy: Mumbai? what was this whole Melodrama for Maharashtra Elections about?
Let’s go through the play.
SCENE I : Maha – Yuti vs. Maha – Aghadi.
To start with, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena had allied the elections and became Maha – Yuti. On the other hand, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Indian National Congress came together to form Maha – Aghadi, and that concludes how it was a battle between the two forces. And so, on 21st October 2019, the battle started and evidently, BJP won with maximum seats (105), followed by Shiv Sena (56), the NCP (54) and finally Congress (44). Magnificently, Maha – Yuti had won the elections and could very easily form the Government, but wouldn’t that be predictable. Shiv Sena had the desire to take the CM, but how could the winning party (BJP) allow that after all, it has won with votes almost double than that of Shiv Sena. How is having a 50:50 power a solution? How will the sessions be divided?
And that broke Shiv Sena’s heart into million pieces and they decided to not extend the support of MLAs for BJP to form Government.
SCENE II: Inability to form Government.
On 9th November 2019, the Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited BJP to show its willingness and ability to form Government and granted them 48 hours. But since Shiv Sena with all its MLAs that comprised most of BJPs support, had already left BJP on its own, BJP straightaway denied the opportunity and backed off. The Governor then approached the next largest party, i.e., Shiv Sena. Now Shiv Sena did show willingness and also claimed it had the highest stake at forming the government, but asked for a 72-hour gap to furbish and show it’s letters of support, which the Governor was unwilling to provide. The 72-hour gap was way too much and Governor could not accommodate such delay, hence it moved to the third-largest party, i.e., NCP, but even they failed to show support and couldn’t form the Government. Since no party could form the Government of Maharashtra, the Governor proposed to invoke the President’s Rule to the Council of Ministers of India and the President and was accepted and imposed on the State on 12th November 2019, and the State went under the Center’s power.
SCENE III: Formation of Government since the results were out.
On 23rd November 2019, the President’s rule was revoked as BJPs Devendra Fadnavis (who was also the Ex-Chief Minister of Maharashtra) took oath as the Chief Minister while NCP’s Ajit Pawar took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister. This created a frenzy in the NCP and divided the members into two forces, one with Ajit Pawar and another with Sharad Pawar. Ajit Pawar who was also the Parliamentary Party Leader of NCP was removed from that post. Here’s another plot twist that’s been happening. How did the governor very discreetly invite BJP to form the Government? Shiv Sena, NCP, and the INC moved to the Supreme Court and also requested to order the new Government to show a majority in the Legislative Assembly. The Supreme Court ordered the floor test for the new Government for showing the majority. Unable to do so, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar resigned from their posts.
To sum up, until here, Maharashtra is without a Government for a month.
SCENE IV: Maha – Vikas – Aghadi.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena, NCP, and INC had formed an alliance and are being called Maha – Vikas – Aghadi and are being ruled under Uddhav Thackrey. What follows next is that as soon as Dendera Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar withdrew from their posts, MVA approached the Governor to stake the claim of Government. On 28th November 2019, Uddhav Thackrey took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and with 169 votes passed the floor test.
And with that Maharashtra finally got its Chief Minister.
The real question is, was this Melodrama for the Elections of Maharashtra really required? First, the Shiv Sena asks for 50:50 power-sharing with BJP which is a bit clichéd, since this is not a part-time job that is being distributed between different people for different hours as the candidates may deem fit. Even after elections, no party is being able to show the majority support of MLAs? And then the Governor’s discretion at inviting BJP to form a government even when it couldn’t provide the majority first hand.
A state needs a government and not a fish market.