BJP-Sena finally get divorced

BJP and Sena have finally called it quits after 25 years of togetherness. Shiv Sena voted against BJP on the floor test in the Maharashtra assembly after talks failed on Sena’s participation in BJP govt. in Maharashtra. This has ended almost 2 months of bickering between the two parties. For the past two months or so there was a lot of drama and suspense between the two parties akin to a thriller movie.

1. Will they or won’t they contest assembly elections together?

2. After they decided to fight separately, will Shiv Sena pull out of NDA at the center?

3. After polls and fractured mandate, will they come back together to form govt. in Maharashtra?

4. Will Thackeray attend Fadnavis swearing in ceremony?

5. Will Sena participate in Modi’s cabinet expansion?

6. Will Sena be part of BJP govt. in Maharashtra?

7. Will Sena support BJP on floor test in assembly?

There were no clear answers to any of these questions above and media was speculating all sorts of stories for all of these events listed above. Finally the divorce is official, will they / won’t they patch up, this question is answered. One more question remains though, will Sena lone minister in Modi cabinet, resign or be still part of the NDA at the center. People of India have got relieved after this tamasha has ended. News channels have to look for other entertaining news.

In this article, my attempt is to answer some of the follow up questions which arise in public mind after this divorce.

1. Will Sena ask its only minister in Modi cabinet – Anand Geethe to resign?

In all probability yes. Sena will try to portray to the public that it has been on the receiving end in this entire episode and try to gain public sympathy in Maharashtra its vote bank state. It will paint BJP as the culprit and show that it was left with no other option. It will try to invoke Marathi asmita by claiming Maratha pride has been hurt by BJP. Whether Geethe will listen to Uddhav is another question. He may want to retain ministry and do a Suresh Prabhu to Sena.

2. Will they patch up in the future?

There are no permanent enemies or friends in politics. So there is every possibility that they can come back together in the future. Ideologically they share similar views.

3. Who will suffer the most out of this incident – BJP or Sena?

Any divorce is painful and both parties (though they will claim otherwise) will be impacted. BJP will run the risk of running a minority govt. and this will be difficult. It’s not easy. There will be constant challenge of running a govt. the way it wants or acede to pressure from smaller allies / independents / NCP.

Sena on the other hand will find it difficult to oppose the programme of BJP. There could be de-motivation among its cadre / MLAs and some may shift allegiance to BJP. After all power is the glue which holds politicians together.

4. Will the govt. be stable?

Unlikely as I said in point 3 above.

5. Will this impact Sena ruling the Bombay Municipal Corporation?

This would impact BMC. Sena and BJP have been ruling the BMC for the past 20 years. The BMC has 227 seats, currently Sena has 75 seats and is supported by BJP with 31 seats plus support of 15 other independents / smaller constituents. Sena can survive BJP sinking the ship if brother Raj’s MNS with 28 supports Sena and independents don’t rock the boat.

6. Will BJP formally induct NCP ministers in cabinet?

No as it would weaken its position on corruption.

7. Will the govt. last full term?

Unlikely. As soon as some negative news appears for BJP and there is some negative sentiment for it, NCP will pull the plug. Alternatively, BJP can go for fresh polls if it gets victorious in J&K, Delhi and Bihar next year.

8. If fresh elections happen in near term can BJP get majority on its own?

It depends upon the circumstances then. If there is the same euphoria for Modi govt. at the center like now and BJP Maharashtra govt. is free from any scams then it may well get majority on its own. People memory is short lived in India. If people are fed up of Modi govt. in near future and it’s promises remain unfulfilled then chances of BJP majority will diminish. So it is a mixture of state and national issues.

Again a hidden message for people to give clear mandates in elections, else instability will continue to hamper growth.

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