Maharashtra Government Formation: Indian Democracy at Its Best of Thrill and Suspense - TIR News - The India Review


Maharashtra Government Formation: Indian Democracy at Its Best of Thrill and Suspense

November 24, 2019

The recently concluded assembly election in western Indian state of Maharashtra gave a mixed verdict. BJP did emerge as a single largest party but the people of the state wanted them to work in partnership with other parties.

Shiv Sena had been coalition partner of BJP for several years however they failed to work out the terms of relationship this time and the both after a protracted deliberation started looking for other options. The governor gave opportunities albeit unequal to the parties to claim majority after cobbling up alliances but soon the president rule was imposed based on the recommendations of the governor.

Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress continued with their discussion on forging alliance and government formation. They took really long time which is understandable in view of the fact that they had no pre-poll understanding but when they were almost there on the verge, there came the coup on 23 November early morning and the BJP government was installed by the governor in great secrecy and hurry. The support of NCP which has 54 members was claimed to conjure the numbers and one Alit Pawar was sworn as deputy chief minister.

However, by the evening of 23 November it became clear that only 9 NCP members were in support of BJP. If so, then whether the new BJP government in Maharashtra wins the confidence of the house on 30 th of November remains to be seen.

This political saga hailed as a master stroke by the BJP activists (and as worst phase of Indian democracy by the opposition) raises few questions - why BJP failed to honor its pre-poll alliance with Shiv Sena and vice-versa? The election result clearly showed that people of the state had voted for both BJP and Shiv Sena to work in partnership to provide governance to the state. They both come from the same stock of political ideology and have the common Hindutva agenda and had actually been a long-time partner. So, what went wrong this time? Probably the answer lies in the undefined grey area of coalition dharma.

Who becomes the first among the equals and in what proportion the ministerial berths should be shared among the coalition partners? The constitution only says ...’’enjoys the confidence of the house’’. Apparently, as the single largest party BJP insisted for retaining the CM’s post and offered ministerial berths to Shiv Sena. BJP did not want to share the CMs post which was not acceptable to Shiv Sena this time. But why? Any healthy partnership relationship requires trust and give and take. Why stuck for the CM’s post? After all, it is just a public role. Or, is it more than that?

Soon after installation of the government, the BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said ‘’Sena-Cong pact conspiracy to control financial capital’’. Not quite sure of the context but this statement prima facie appeared absurd and harmful to public trust. After all, these parties have ruled the state including the control of the capital. Why BJP thought it imperative to thwart control of the capital (through CM’s post) going in the hands of Sena and Congress? Sure, Shiv Sena and Congress are not anti-nationals.

The other dimension of the analysis is the role played by the governor (the agent of the federal government in the state). Was there really any breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state when the governor recommended imposition of President’s rule? Was he just and fair to Sena-NCP- Congress in providing opportunities?

Why proclamation to revoke the president rule was issued in the wee hours and swearing-in conducted in such hurry and secrecy? Any guarantee that the law will be upheld and no horse trading will take place before confidence motion in the assembly a week's time? The answers to these questions may be different depending whom you ask but, Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion!

Author: Umesh Prasad


S Singh

2019-11-24 06:18:00

The biggest irony of this democracy is that even an elected member of assembly or parliament can not vote as per his wish on the floor of the house, he has to follow the whip. He or she will be disqualified if voted against the party whip. On the other hand, a party can form unholy alliance with rival parties against which they have been voted by the public. It is contradictory and against the natural law of justice. Infact, if a pre poll alliance in majority is not able to form govt, only re-election should be the viable option. Winning people's mandate with coalition and then forming govt with rival party or parties must also amount to disqualification as far as people's mandate is concerned. Everything else a horse trading or marriage of convenience, at

Raj Kumar Choudhary

2019-11-24 05:09:00

Apt analysis of the situation at hand in Maharastra. It's true that mandate was in favour of BJP led government in the state. Its also natural that Fadnavis be the CM. After all shivsena and BJP fought together as a coalition partner and BJP has a major seat share. But no, now Thakrey wants to be the CM. It's agaist the law of nature. A lighter fluid supporting heavier fluid always lead to instability. Similarly a government led by a minority stakeholder would never have been stable. In my opinion it is thr Shivsena who should be blamed for the present cacophony in the state. Congies and commies are always there to fish in troubled water