UDDHAV’S TURN … Ice breaks, Pawar says three-party alliance will make Uddhav Thackeray chief minister of Maharashtra

NEWS MAHA UDDHAV PAWAR
MUMBAI: Here now is some hope amid a sea of hopelessness. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief  Sharad Pawar announced on Friday that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will lead the next government in the state as Chief Minister. Such an understanding sets at rest the central issue about cobbling of a new governing alliance in Maharashtra. 

This also ends speculations that either Pawar or his daughter Supriya Sule would seek to don the mantle of chief minister in a new government. Nor would Uddhav’s son Aaditya Thackeray get a chance this time, if Governor Koshyari , a former RSS functionary, allows the three party alliance to form the government in what would amount to a negation of the people’s verdict.
The announcement was made after the first formal meeting between the three political parties – the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP – which managed to form a post-poll alliance to share power and keep the main bloc the new assembly, the BJP with 105MLAs, in the Opposition. 
A news agency quoted Pawar as saying there was consensus on Uddhav to be given the CM post, at the three-party high-level conclave here, which progressed till late in the night. Uddhav Thackeray had a late night meeting with Pawar here a day ago, which led to an understanding on power-sharing.  The Shiv Sena has 56MLAs, the NCP 54 and the Congress  44 MLAs, based on the assembly poll results on October 24, three days after the October 21 voting. 

The results had poured cold water on the hopes of the BJP to retain power in the state, as its ally Shiv Sena insisted on a 50-50 sharing of power and the CM post. Sena claimed there was such a promise from the BJP before the polls, but the BJP says it never made any such promise. Rather, CM in the last term, Devendra Fadnavis kept claiming openly that he would be the CM again; and, curiously, the Sena never questioned his claim until the results were out. 
The leaders of the three parties are expected to hold a joint press conference on Saturday to announce the new alliance and its minimum programme for the next five years in government. The BJP, on the other hand, remains tight-lipped, and its former CM, Devendra Fadnavis ducked for cover and so is BJP national president Amit Shah, who seemed to allow things to go its own way. 

However, granted that a three-party ministry is formed, there are two worries to the common man. One, all the three parties and their leaders do not have a clean image, though the Sena claims to be more service-oriented towards Marathi causes and less to politics at the ground level. The less said the better about the NCP and the Congress or their leaderships for that matter. A cash cow, Maharashtra is among the richest states, with money-minting Mumbai a major attraction to hand-in-the-honeypot politicians. 

Problem however is how long this alliance might last, the BJP having a larger number of seats at party to party level.
Notably, if the Shiv Sena gets the CM post, this is a first in the history of democracy and politics in the state since its formation. Uddhav keeps saying that he wanted to fulfill a promise he made to his father Bal Thackery while in death bed that he would see to it that Maharashtra will have a Sena CM.

The Shiv Sena was having a strong presence till around the turn of the century, but the BJP eventually emerged as larger than the Sena. The Modi-Amit Shah era accentuated such a scenario to the detriment of the Shiv Sena. For the Congress party, being part of the Maharashtra ministry would mean keeping the BJP away from power in a principal state and at the same time having the leeway to organize funds for the party and also for party leaders, to keep their cash-chests swelling. 

Sharad Pawar, true to his self, would demand his own pound of flesh in the choppy political waters. Initially he said, the mandate for his party was to sit in the opposition bench, and it would do so. Behind the scene, he worked his way through a labyrinth of hurdles and acted as a unifying figure for the Sena and the Congress. 

NEWS MAHA UDDHAV PAWAR
MUMBAI: Here now is some hope amid a sea of hopelessness. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief  Sharad Pawar announced on Friday that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will lead the next government in the state as Chief Minister. Such an understanding sets at rest the central issue about cobbling of a new governing alliance in Maharashtra. 

This also ends speculations that either Pawar or his daughter Supriya Sule would seek to don the mantle of chief minister in a new government. Nor would Uddhav’s son Aaditya Thackeray get a chance this time, if Governor Koshyari , a former RSS functionary, allows the three party alliance to form the government in what would amount to a negation of the people’s verdict.
The announcement was made after the first formal meeting between the three political parties – the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP – which managed to form a post-poll alliance to share power and keep the main bloc the new assembly, the BJP with 105MLAs, in the Opposition. 
A news agency quoted Pawar as saying there was consensus on Uddhav to be given the CM post, at the three-party high-level conclave here, which progressed till late in the night. Uddhav Thackeray had a late night meeting with Pawar here a day ago, which led to an understanding on power-sharing.  The Shiv Sena has 56MLAs, the NCP 54 and the Congress  44 MLAs, based on the assembly poll results on October 24, three days after the October 21 voting. 

The results had poured cold water on the hopes of the BJP to retain power in the state, as its ally Shiv Sena insisted on a 50-50 sharing of power and the CM post. Sena claimed there was such a promise from the BJP before the polls, but the BJP says it never made any such promise. Rather, CM in the last term, Devendra Fadnavis kept claiming openly that he would be the CM again; and, curiously, the Sena never questioned his claim until the results were out. 
The leaders of the three parties are expected to hold a joint press conference on Saturday to announce the new alliance and its minimum programme for the next five years in government. The BJP, on the other hand, remains tight-lipped, and its former CM, Devendra Fadnavis ducked for cover and so is BJP national president Amit Shah, who seemed to allow things to go its own way. 

However, granted that a three-party ministry is formed, there are two worries to the common man. One, all the three parties and their leaders do not have a clean image, though the Sena claims to be more service-oriented towards Marathi causes and less to politics at the ground level. The less said the better about the NCP and the Congress or their leaderships for that matter. A cash cow, Maharashtra is among the richest states, with money-minting Mumbai a major attraction to hand-in-the-honeypot politicians. 

Problem however is how long this alliance might last, the BJP having a larger number of seats at party to party level.
Notably, if the Shiv Sena gets the CM post, this is a first in the history of democracy and politics in the state since its formation. Uddhav keeps saying that he wanted to fulfil a promise he made to his father Bal Thackery while in death bed that he would see to it that Maharashtra will have a Sena CM.

The Shiv Sena was having a strong presence till around the turn of the century, but the BJP eventually emerged as larger than the Sena. The Modi-Amit Shah era accentuated such a scenario to the detriment of the Shiv Sena. For the Congress party, being part of the Maharashtra ministry would mean keeping the BJP away from power in a principal state and at the same time having the leeway to organize funds for the party and also for party leaders, to keep their cash-chests swelling. 

Sharad Pawar, true to his self, would demand his own pound of flesh in the choppy political waters. Initially he said, the mandate for his party was to sit in the opposition bench, and it would do so. Behind the scene, he worked his way through a labyrinth of hurdles and acted as a unifying figure for the Sena and the Congress. 

Till the assembly poll results were out, feelings were rife that the 80-year-old Pawar was entering his twilight years in politics. He dramatically rebounded from serious set-backs and made a new mark, only to call a lot more of shots in Maharashtra politics and possibly beyond too. The three-party alliance in Maharashtra, if it is formalised, could eventually turn into a fulcrum around which national politics too could revolve in the coming years. Pawar has as much clout with opposition politicians. 

SILENCE OF THE BJP

The silence of the BJP leadership, in the present unfolding political drama in Maharashtra, is deafening. It sat back and made no manoeuvring for retaining power in the state after assembly polls gave a fractured verdict. IHN-NN
INDIA HERE AND NOW www.indiahereandnow.com email:indianow999@gmail.com

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