Digging Deep To Dissect The Colossal Chaos In Maharashtra

The BJP-Shiv Sena combo won India’s 2019 parliamentary and Maharashtra state legislature elections. Every seat has a poster of Narendra Modi or Devendra Fadnavis. Both parties’ candidates lauded the double-engine sarkar’s quick expansion, iron-fisted law and order, and focus on Hindu nationalism. Even Uddhav Thackeray attended rallies where the BJP’s national leadership promised that Modi and Fadnavis will rule the government if Maharashtra was re-elected.

Sharad Pawar, Sonia Gandhi, and Sanjay Raut urged Uddhav Thackeray to forge an artificial coalition with the NCP and Congress. Thackeray’s NCP and Congress allies rapidly took control, leaving Thackeray and his son Aaditya as bystanders.

Maharashtra had three years of NCP-Congress governance before 2014, and it saw frequent terror attacks, unapologetic corruption, and a lack of regard for the common person’s quality of life. 2014 was their last year in office. Despite being re-elected in 2019, they were misled by greedy politicians. Again, Maharashtra’s progress stagnated as Pawar and the Congress realised the collaboration would only last a few months and focused on milking the cow. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance was created to seize power and has no ambitions to help Maharashtra grow and develop. Big-ticket projects crucial to the company’s future were put on hold.

By refusing to donate land in Aarey, Uddhav Thackeray has scuttled the Mumbai Metro project and left citizens in the city fearing traffic congestion from delayed metro constructions. Most of the work on the Samruddhi corridor, which would reduce travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur in half, started under Fadnavis, but Thackeray delayed even the first phase. The MVA yet again sidelined the Navi Mumbai airport, which Fadnavis built 20 years ago. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, India’s first of its kind, has experienced major delays after the MVA refused to speed up land acquisition for land distribution.

In contrast, Gujarat has already completed the land allocation process needed for construction to begin. Financial institutions, foreign capital funds, and banks that had committed to co-finance these projects began to withdraw. Bombardier Transportation, a French mobility business, recently cancelled its contract to furnish coaches for the Mumbai Metro Line owing to unending delays.

After the MVA was founded, COVID broke out. Uddhav Thackeray stayed home throughout the plague. This was disconcerting since he refused to visit Maharashtra and depended on advisers’ reports. Aaditya was uninterested in anything happening outside of Mumbai. Contrast this with Fadnavis’ frequent visits to distant communities and government hospitals. Uddhav Thackeray entrusted Iqbal Chahal and the Maharashtra Covid-19 Task Force with pandemic control, but he made no contributions. Doctors in Amravati reported strange symptoms before officials realised the probability of a mutant variety when the Delta wave first arose, according to charges that genetic surveillance was inadequate. Corruption in pandemic management supply purchases and Jumbo-Hospital construction was widely reported.

The populace was frustrated with a do-nothing administration, especially because they weren’t elected. Local elections saw Shiv Sena candidates lose popularity, helping the NCP and Congress. Uddhav Thackeray refused to finance his own party’s MLAs for development projects in their districts, but he funded NCP-Congress MLAs. NCP-Congress ministers moved quickly to resolve matters in which they had an interest.

The new power structure soon made Sena lawmakers feel misled. Uddhav Thackeray was prepared to surrender Sena’s beliefs to appease Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi. Sena MLAs finally saw that their party, established with their sweat and Balasaheb’s blood, was on the brink of disintegration owing to his family. In deep water, they conducted a coup d’├ętat. Sena and Uddhav Thackeray’s MVA lost public support. The harm is done to the party over the last two and a half years will take decades to reverse, but the first step is to recognise the people’s mandate and give the promised government.