The last few days in Maharashtra has felt like an Abbas-Mustan movie on steroids. Who sent whom? Did Ajit Pawar go to BJP with Sharad Pawar’s blessings, a Trojan horse with malafide intentions? BJP already thinks so.
No party, barring perhaps the NCP, comes out looking good.
For the BJP, Fadnavis’ Mr Clean Image is irretrievably shattered, given the alacrity with which they seemed to accept Ajit Pawar’s overtures.
The Modi government pulled out a rare Rule 12 to revoke President’s Rule in the dead of the night making the most clandestine operation look innocent in comparison. Fadnavis’ inability to show the numbers, left him hanging high and dry, and it will be very hard for him to justify to his voters, why a supposedly anti-corruption government was so eager to embrace a man who he’d predicted would be ‘chakki peesing’.
On the other hand, the Congress will also face tough questions about allying with Shiv Sena, a party that has been an ideological opponent for ages. Word on the streets was that the alliance with the Sena was vehemently opposed by the party’s Kerala faction.
Rahul Gandhi is a party MP from Wayanad now – after losing to Smriti Irani on his home turf of Amethi – and is likely to give the swearing-in a miss.
Shiv Sena meanwhile, inheritors of Bal Thackeray’s legacy are already been mocked as ‘Sonia Sena’ by BJP supporters and certainly some of their voters will feel hard done given they believed they were voting a saffron alliance with the same Hindutva goals which had projected Fadnavis as CM.
In fact, the only party that comes out looking good is NCP and BJP is already wondering if Ajit Pawar was a ‘Trojan Horse’ sent to befool Modi-Shah-Fadnavis. Because if he was, this would be the greatest twist since Keyser Soze. Because the biggest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince people he never existed.