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Monday, September 29, 2014

Maharashtra Assembly Elections-2014: Anybody’s Game!



Even the end of Pitru Paksha fortnight which is considered inauspicious on 24th September could not inspire the great politicians of Maharashtra to come together and be sincere to voters. They fought between themselves with greed for power being the driving force and things came to such a head that the raging anti-incumbency wave became a joke giving the earnest voters the biggest dilemma in their so-far-so-good democratic existence. Now, whoever they vote for would hardly decide who would finally form the government. In every constituency the voters will have at least five main candidates contesting (Congress, Nationalist Congress Party or NCP, Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or MNS and any of them could win in view of the split vote syndrome. There are still more political parties who could be big factors on specific areas. 

As the fortnight of the Goddess Durga began things happened in a great hurry putting this poor writer in a hyperactive flurry and making him unable to carry on with his wordy curry. Still, he hardly has the time to ponder, wonder and render. So then, only a quick look-through on the main events for some of the loyal readers of these pages. 

September 25, The Maha Break-Up: Maha of the Maharashtra also means big and it was big indeed on this eventful day.  Mahayuti (Yuti means pair, when it became more than two it is mahayuti) has been riding on the anti-incumbency wave for the last about one year and more political parties joined in to be on the winning side. The alliance had swept Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra and when it was almost certain to be voted in overwhelmingly in the Assembly Elections they broke up reportedly fighting over sharing just 4 or 5 seats either way. Anybody could see the basic reason though. Since they were sure to win the question of who gets the supreme seat of power, Chief Ministership, became overpowering and finally they could not decide. So the BJP and the Shiv Sena ended their 25-year-old alliance making their small allies scurry around for shelter.
On the same eventful day one more much perplexing break-up occurred. Here you cannot put the finger on the right spot. The ruling alliance had apparently no chance of coming back to power and yet they fought over seat sharing. More ridiculously one ally offered to share the post of the Chief Minister equally for two and half years each after coming back to power. Maybe the powerful local leaders just thought of retaining at least that much power of continuing to be the elected representative. So the Congress and the NCP ended their 15-year-old alliance. Not only that, the NCP withdrew support making the Congress a minority in the Maharashtra Assembly. 

September 25-27: Almost no major political party had their list of candidates out and the last date of filing nominations was 27th September. So followed the most chaotic and ludicrous process of filing nominations. Candidates filed once, twice or even thrice as they did not know finally which side they would end up. Political party bosses did not know about which member of theirs filed where. Someone of some political party filed nomination and did not finally manage a ticket, and so s/he filed again from a different party hoping to get a ticket this time. This unprecedented chaos and mockery of democracy is likely to regain some sense only after 1st October—the last date for withdrawal nominations. In the process the exodus from the NCP to either BJP or Shiv Sean has been the biggest.  

September 26: Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan resigned as his government was reduced to a minority after the NCP withdrew support post break-up. The BJP raised the demand for imposing President’s Rule in the state with just about 20 days left for polling. 

September 27: Governor of Maharashtra accepted the resignation of Prithviraj Chavan and sends his report to the Centre for President’s rule in the state. Union Cabinet recommends clamping President’s rule. 

September 28: Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, signs the proclamation for imposition of President’s Rule in the poll-bound state of Maharashtra. Congress objects to the decision. 

Of course, you must vote, this is your most precious democratic right and you must inspire others to do so. In all, this Maharashtra Assembly Elections-2014 is going to be the most remembered state assembly election of the century. All for the wrong reasons. Much more yet to come.
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