CM Eknath Sambhaji Shinde!!
Even though the whole of Maharashtra, India and the world-over who is interested in Maharashtra politics remains shell-shocked, the bottom line is -the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra is Eknath Sambhaji Shinde. In a matter of an hour, when Devendra Fadnavis announced Shinde’s name as the CM candidate, the world was quick to pounce upon the large-heartedness Fadnavis displayed terming it as a master-stroke of the BJP and all. But then exactly within an hour of the presser Fadnavis addressed, next we saw on TV was Fadnavis himself swearing-in as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra leaving everyone confused. Everyone from the mighty Pawar to a journo like me, everyone’s analysis and ‘sources’ were shown the bin!
What exactly happened in that hour? Now what I am going to write is purely coincidental if it matches your views. So, in that one hour BJP President JP Nadda had to come live on TV, HM Amit Shah took to Twitter and PM Modi called upon Fadnavis twice to convince him in all the ways possible to become the Deputy CM. Now tell me, in all honesty, how would a man who has been a CM for 5 years agree to play second fiddle to Shinde? But the man he is, for whom the party orders are next to the orders of God, he accepted it and with a heavy heart chose to become the DCM. But who did this and why?
It is said behind closed doors that one of the top 3 in the BJP does not think well for Fadnavis. He is in direct competition to one of them in the coming years. He is a performer, educated, can speak English, character is good and has achieved success multiple times, which makes him a direct competition in the coming years. Hence to cut size, was the only option left. If that is true, what was the reason for inducting Fadnavis in the cabinet at the last minute? Merely not making him the CM was done right? People also say that BJP at the centre received heavy backlash from the party to the supporters and the graph of the BJP went down in one hour which made the leadership uncomfortable and the decision to include Fadnavis in the cabinet was taken with immediate effect and hence the Deputy CM ship.
But then one school of thought says, it was a well calculated move by making Shinde the CM to finish off the ‘arrogance’ of the Thackeray’s. CM Shinde being the group leader will also issue a whip which will lead to ‘termination’ of remaining 15/16 Sena MLAs in the days to come if the whip is not followed. How and why I don’t understand where Fadnavis comes in the picture? What I understand is Devendra Fadnavis should have been the CM, as it was him who pulled this entire coup and tables turned. No Neta from Delhi came and persuaded Shinde to revolt and get MVA out of power. As Pawar said Surat-Guwahati-Goa was not pulled off in one day. A long methodological process was followed and it was all well planned.
Now someone tells me Gujarat will face elections in December 2022 and that Maharashtra too will undergo mid-term polls. In that BJP will come with a thumping majority and it is then Fadnavis will be empowered. But then what if Fadnavis goes the Gadkari way? Remember Gadkari was BJP President and as soon as Modi became the PM, he was sent into an oblivion, right? At least Gadkari is a Minister now, there is some solace. Will Maharashtra BJP and others be able to cope up with that loss? I have my doubts. What are we talking about? One mistake to go with the Sena in 2019 has to be dealt this way? But then some supporters said, never question high command, be it the BJP or the Congress. They always know better than us.
Whatever the game plan was or whatever the strategy is, the BJP in Maharashtra has lost some respect in everyone’s heart. As for Fadnavis, he was, is and will be a hero to many. Many Maratha’s officers who are NOT BJP supporters called me specially and extended their support, love and sympathy towards Fadnavis. Leaders such as him are rare. They say na, it is impossible for people like him to stop, but if someone is hell-bent on putting a full stop on his career, God bless them. As he said, and I believe him when he said,
‘मेरा पानी उतरता देख, मेरे किनारे पर घर मत बना लेना, मैं समुंदर हूं, लौट कर वापस आउंगा:
Vikrant Hemant Joshi.