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Hope springs eternal for Sena

Hope springs eternal for Sena
Highlights

It runs parallel to the Rubik puzzle which challenges logic. That too, after being coochie-cooing bed partners to a bitter splits ville in their silver jubilee anniversary year.

It runs parallel to the Rubik puzzle which challenges logic. That too, after being coochie-cooing bed partners to a bitter splits ville in their silver jubilee anniversary year. Yes, I am talking about the Hindutva cohorts in Maharashtra and the Centre, BJP and Shiv Sena. Raising a moot point: Why now?

Undeniably, it has everything to do with the fact the BJP spearheaded by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi preferred to take a calculated gamble and go solo in the recent Maharashtra Assembly polls. Ably assisted by the Sonia’s Congress and Pawar’s NCP divorce on election eve and dragged down by the incumbency quotient, in disarray with no time to regroup, which all combined to present an unprecedented five-cornered contest, giving the BJP a leg up.

Of course, Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray too presented his partner a perfect fait accomplice to take a walk. According to leaders in the know, who sends an immature, arrogant and cocky 24-year old to negotiate the tricky delicate seat-sharing negotiations? More so, as ties between the BJP’s new power dispensation with Uddhav is at best formal. Remember, Modi and Shah “suffered” Sena’s founder Tiger Bal Thackeray but having to hold parleys with his grandson Aditya was simply not acceptable.

Modi was clear from the beginning that the Sena was an albatross around his neck and hated playing second fiddle but stuck together, despite cold vibes, to come to power. Not only did the two allies complement each other but the Sena’s mass base in Maharashtra’s cities was a major plus. Also, while the RSS provided the “brains” the Sena’s youth brought “muscle” power. The equation worked well as the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance was essentially an OBC affair.

But Modi’s ascendency in Delhi changed the power equations that were waiting to happen. Add to this, Modi who has an elephantine memory had not forgotten that the late Balasaheb had publicly plummed for Sushma Swaraj just prior to his formal anointment as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. That he had taken this to heart became obvious when he did not attend the Sena Chief’s grandiose funeral.

Compounding matters, Modi rubbed Sena the wrong way, when, despite 18 MPs he gave it only one Cabinet berth in his Council of Ministers. Whereby, the so-called proud Marathi Manoos began to view this as political surrender to the Gujarati leadership.

Unfortunately, Uddhav who not only lacks both his father’s charisma and clout and also keeps indifferent health, for reasons best known to him did not want to be seen as being treated like a minor stakeholder by the BJP as the Sena is an only Maharashtra Party. Clearly, he miscalculated.

True, the Shah-Modi strategy has worked out in Maharashtra with the BJP emerging as the largest single Party fulfilling its dream of sitting on Mumbai’s Raj gaddi. But it’s not all hunky dory.

The shrewd Maratha supremo Sharad Pawar who enjoys a cozy relationship with Modi and Nitin Gadkari seems to have hit the jackpot. The NCP legislators who had gone underground licking wounds post elections are today strutting the corridors of power as if they continue to be in power.

What next? Politics is the art of making possible the impossible. Both Modi and Uddhav could in all probability get back together as they are natural allies. Pertinently, Sena continues to be part of the ruling NDA dispensation in New Delhi even as it sits in the Opposition in Mumbai, notwithstanding their mutual bashing.

Today, Modi has had his say and way. Tomorrow whether the partners will continue their Salman Khan-like Aata Majhi Satakli (you better not mess with me anymore) act or marry again remains to be seen. Wanna take a bet?

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