The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government is on a backfoot after the resignation of two ministers within the span of a month. Ahead of the commencement of the budget session, Shiv Sena leader, Sanjay Rathod resigned as the forest minister for his alleged links with the suicide of a Tik Tok star as BJP had threatened not to allow the proceedings to take place. For over a fortnight Shiv Sena defended Rathod saying that the police inquiry was on but ultimately yielded to BJP’s pressure.
Similarly, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was under BJP’s radar in the bomb scare case and Mansukh Hiran death case. However, former CP Param Bir Singh’s corruption charges gave BJP ammunition to corner Deshmukh, NCP and the state government. Ultimately, due to court order, Deshmukh resigned. So, clearly, BJP has succeeded in putting the MVA government on the defensive.
During and after the budget session, the leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis led a scathing attack against the state government and Deshmukh in particular. Ironically, Deshmukh and the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners were literally fumbled to counter Fadnavis’ blistering attack due to a lack of proper coordination and preparations. BJP stepped up the attacks and made Deshmukh and the state government lead their weak defence.
When Fadnavis was exposing the government by releasing the ‘’confidential’’ and ‘’top secret’’ documents, NCP in particular and Shiv Sena and Congress had no concrete argument to counter him. They repeatedly claimed it was a ploy of Fadnavis and BJP in general to defame the police force and the state.
NCP shot back claiming that IPS Officer Rashmi Shukla was a BJP agent and she had leaked the confidential papers which came in handy for Fadnavis to target the government. On top of it, Shiv Sena, which has yet to recover from the humiliation after Rathod’s resignation, was more or less quiet while Congress during its internal meetings claimed that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s image has taken a serious dent following allegations against Deshmukh and the state government.
Now the Bombay high court has ordered a preliminary probe into corruption charges against Deshmukh. However, the BJP, which has been repeatedly issuing new deadlines for the fall of the MVA government, claimed that Deshmukh’s resignation will not affect the government.
"As per the Constitution, the 'Maha Vasooli Aghadi' has majority and until the majority reduces, there is no reason to believe the government will fall," said state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil.
Clearly, it’s a wake-up call for MVA partners and to self introspect. Thackeray will have to tighten his grip to put up a united show and improve the performance in a bid to keep BJP at bay.