BJP Prefers Shivsena to Rane

Devendra Fadnavis with Aditya Thakrey

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has been playing a very convincing game by keeping in touch with the NCP chief Sharad Pawar and also Shivsena chief Uddhav Thackeray

By Prabhakar Kulkarni

While the open war between the BJP and Shivsena continues in their respective public functions, they have continued their alliance in government. The only contention was Narayan Rane who was to be inducted in the cabinet. But as Shivsena threatened to quit if Rane is inducted, the BJP seems to have considered that sacrificing Rane is better choice than inducting him in the cabinet and joining hands with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which has no credibility in future relations.

The state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has been playing a very convincing game by keeping in touch with the NCP chief Sharad Pawar and also Shivsena chief Uddhav Thackeray. While keeping both in cordial relations, his calculation seems to be that despite Thakeray’s open target against his government on issues of farmers’ loan waiver, GST and other state issues, the alliance is more reliable in view future course of polities rather than the NCP’s ad-hock help in critical situation if Rane is inducted.

Narayan Rane has his hold in a part of Konkan region but much limited to a district rather than the whole region. His BJP rival and minister in the cabinet Deepak Kesarkar has been trying hard to convince the BJP that Rane need not be inducted so as to avoid any disturbance in the BJP activists in the Konkan region and also the way already carved for scope for the party in future party politics. Both Shivsena’s threat and Kesarkar’s opposition almost compelled the BJP to delay any adjustment with Rane though he is assured by the BJP national leaders who seem to be convinced about the fresh developments and the reason why Rane is sidetracked.

 Despite fresh developments and alliance being kept intact, Shivsena chief Uddhav Thakeray has continued his tirade against the government. By strange co-incidence all the three, Sharad Pawar, Fadnavis and Thackeray were in tour of southern Maharashtar at one and the same time for their respective different functions. On different platforms the three displayed their strategic skills in crossing each other. But while both Pawar and Thackeray were more verbally aggressive against the chief minister Fadnavis who however was calm and better organized for keeping new contacts with difference political personalities for charting out political equations in view future party politics. He contacted Vinay Kore of Warana co-operative group for rural politics in Kolhapur and Vaibhav Naikwadi of Hutatma co-operative sugar mill to encourage him to be a stark rival against the NCP’s MLA Jayant Patil thereby making arrangements to topple down the NCP’s hold in Sangli politics.

 In two days tour of the region the verbal attacks and counter reactions were interesting and disclosing as to how cards are played and jokes are voiced in a political game. Fadnavis visited Karad and expressed his homage to tomb of Yeshawantrao Chavan and said on the occasion that his government is carrying out its programs and schemes as projected in Chavan’s immge of a progressive Maharashtra state. On this at the same place but at different time Sharad Pawar commented that Fadmavis saying that he is trying for realizing and acting as per Chavan’s image of progressive state is a ‘big joke’

At Kolhapur Uddhav Thakeray commented harshly against the state government and in a meeting with the GST stressed traders and industrialists he appealed them to come to Mumbai and carry out a protest Morcha which he will lead and the state government would be gheraoed on crisis created by the GST and other issues created due to the government’s faulty actions. He appealed voters in southern Maharshtra to back Shivsena so that next chief minister would be that of Sena and all pending issues like farmers total loan waiver and other problems being faced by people would be solved.

On this exuberance, Sharad Pawar commented that if Thackeray is so much obsessed with the BJP and its government why not leave it instead of unduly get stuck with it as if attached by ‘Fevicol’? On this uncalled for advice Thackeray commented that Pawar should not advise him for political course of actions, he should better advice Narendra Mode who has accepted him as ‘Guru’.

 Despite the verbal attacks and counter reactions, Shivsena is relived from the crisis of the Narayan Rane factor. Why Rane is so much a troublesome factor creating crisis before Sena may be that Rane being an aggressive campaigner may disclose much agianst Sena thereby disturbing its image and may damage future prospects in state politics. But Shivsena’s success to get the Rane factor sidetracked is considered a sort of victory and letting the BJP realize that it cannot neglect Sena even though ideologically rival parties like Congress or the NCP are ready to join it if the crisis is created after Rane’s induction in cabinet.

Thackeray’s meeting with the Trinmool Congress chief Mamta Banarjee is another development which the BJP has to consider. This is because the Trinmool’s staunch nationalism coincides with that of Shivsena its anti-Modi tirade and non-cooperation with the Union government’s forcible compulsion like that of Aadhaar card is also synchronizing with Sena’s strategy in state politics. If the BJP goes alone in future elections without any alliance, Shivsena may join hands with national forces like those of the Trinmool and other anti-BJP forces in the country.