oppn parties Maharashtra: The Deadlock Continues Along With Taunts By The Shiv Sena

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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Maharashtra: The Deadlock Continues Along With Taunts By The Shiv Sena

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

It is quite amusing to see the Shiv Sena egging on the BJP to break the alliance and the BJP stoutly ignoring Sena's taunts. Obviously, the BJP does not have many choices. Despite being the single largest party in the Maharashtra assembly, it is not in a position to form the government simply because its pre-poll alliance partner Shiv Sena is not supporting it over the so-called 50:50 power-sharing formula. While the BJP insists that there were talks about such an arrangement but nothing was finalized, the Shiv Sena insists that it signed, sealed and delivered. It is clear that one of the parties either misunderstood what went on during the talks or is now lying to gain an advantage. In fact, the Shiv Sena has already called the BJP decision-makers a bunch of "liars". The BJP does not have the numbers of its own and it cannot count on support from either the NCP or the Congress. Also, after Karnataka, all parties have become wary of horse-trading and poaching MLAs has become a difficult, if not impossible, thing.

The way the Shiv Sena is taunting the BJP, it seems it is bent on breaking the more than 25-year-old alliance with it. From the very beginning, when it became clear that although their mandate had been reduced, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance still had the numbers to form the government, the latter did not show much enthusiasm at the situation. In fact, the Sena was playing a different card. It knew that the BJP had vastly reduced numbers than in 2014. It knew now was the time to go for the kill. Hence, it made sharing the top post for two and half years by rotation as a precondition for forming the government and insisted that Aditya Thackeray be made the chief minister for the first half of the new government. Stunned though the BJP was, it did not give in to this and insisted that it was open to discussing anything but the top post. Things have hung fire since then and the Sena has explored other options like talking to the NCP. But Sharad Pawar clearly said that if the Sena continued its alliance with the BJP, nothing was possible. Hence, the Shiv Sena wants to break the alliance but does not want to be seen as the party that did it.

The governor has asked the BJP, as the single largest party, to indicate its willingness or ability to form the government. The BJP core committee is meeting even as this is being written. The Sena has sent them best wishes with a taunt that while the BJP is in the "business of politics", none of its MLAs were available for 'sale'. The Sena wants the BJP to break the alliance so it can approach the NCP to either form the government with it or ask it and the Congress to support a Sena government from outside. But that would be a very shaky arrangement from day one. It would also be disrespecting the people's mandate. Ideally, the Sena should negotiate hard with the BJP and if the 50:50 power-sharing is not conceded, it should try and secure additional ministerial berths to compensate for it, along with the post of the deputy chief minister. Given the number of MLAs the Sena has, one feels that would be the best arrangement. But it seems the Sena wants to make Aditya Thackeray the chief minister at any cost, even by parting ways with the BJP. It remains to be seen whether the NCP and the Congress will play along.