SHIVSENA'S POLITICS OF FLIP-FLOPS, U-TURNS AND MISPLACED IDEOLOGIES
"From the time the state election results declared, Shivsena has played the politics of opportunism and vendetta. There hasn’t been any firm political stand or ideology, or rather, the only ideology is –what do I have in it?! This brand of politics is new for Maharashtra! Shivsena has been largely responsible for the breakup of our alliance. It didn’t agree to compromise even on one seat. They wanted us to have only 119 seats when we won 123 and they wanted to keep 170-171 and they won only 63! Even after these dismal results, their leadership has not been able to decipher the public mood.
On the day of results too, during first two hours of counting, our then President and now CM, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis categorically said that Shivsena is our natural alliance. We were clear that in case BJP doesn’t get majority and need to form an alliance, Shivsena will be our obvious choice! Even to that, Shivsena's response was ridiculous that they would consider alliance only if offered CM's post! And this, after winning less than 65 seats! Since then till date, they have only played politics of hatred, bringing up Modiji's father or calling our National President Amitbhai Shah Aurangjeb /Adil Shah or humiliating us in every possible way. Now, they expect important portfolios with a great respect from us!
If we are Afzalhkan and Adil Shah, then why is Shivsena so desperate to be part of our government? They are totally blinded by lust for power and despite voters' outright rejection, they want to create a hype around them as sole saviours of Maharashtra!
Last from them was that we should explain our stand on NCP's support! We had nothing to clarify as we didn’t seek the support of NCP and when we submitted our proposal to Governor, we only mentioned the support of independents with NCP being nowhere in picture. Either Shivsena doesn’t understand this or chooses not to understand and is simply going about maligning us with NCP. This reeks of political immaturity. In fact, few days before the trust vote, Shivsena had secret backdoor meetings with various NCP leaders to form a government. Earlier, after the results were declared, they tried shaking hands with congress to form a government but congress refused. But do they even understand the simple maths of majority, I wonder! Shivsena leadership seems to only indulge in politics of name-calling and envy. On one side, they talk about Maharashtra's interest but never once they thought of offering a stable government to the state.
Interestingly, Shivsena's logic is that if BJP forms an alliance with NCP, it is a betrayal of voters but if Shivsena and NCP come together, it is in Maharashtra's interest! This same Sharad Pawar against whom they spat so much venom as an enemy of Hindutva or someone who coined the term saffron terror or a supporter of all things green, suddenly becomes their ally? They have no problem with sudden shifts of opinions about Sharad Pawar. Can they explain these double-standards, would they even care to explain? I have my serious doubts!
Uddhav Thackeray seemed confused on his party’s stand. He feared that a big section of Shiv Sena would revolt against him and break up if they were denied the opportunity to join the government. So, he kept on delaying the negotiations and floated various theories from time to time. Thackeray tried to show that he attempted till last minute to join the government but actually he only tried to pass the buck to the BJP. Is this not hypocrisy?
Shivsena's politics of opportunism, arm-twisting and flip-flops of ideologies, will not only cost them dearly in future but will set a dangerous and unfortunate precedent in Maharashtra's politics. "
---As told to Mrudula Varaskar