Even though the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi has completed one year in office, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to digest the loss of power. The party has been using every opportunity to step up attack against the ruling partners in a bid to further divide them internally and expose their differences.
BJP is unable to forget the humiliation by its long-time ally Shiv Sena, which formed the government with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress. It has repeatedly clarified that no assurance was given to Shiv Sena for the equal sharing of power or the chief minister’s post.
BJP was also hurt by the manner in which Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray passed the blame on it for not keeping its promise. Since the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has come to power, BJP has been issuing new deadlines for its collapse or reminding them that it will not complete its five-year term.
BJP has led a scathing attack against the MVA government on a number of issues, including its apathy towards working class, its inability to provide relief to the villagers hit by drought and untimely rains and floods and also on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Thackeray has been on BJP's radar; the party attacked him for operating from home and not being mobile when required during the present crisis.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, state unit chief Chandrakant Patil, legislators Atul Bhatkhalkar and Ashish Shelar have been at the forefront to target Thackeray and the MVA government in general. Fadnavis, two days ago, said BJP will provide an efficient alternative to MVA in the state.
However, other leaders, including former ministers Sudhir Mungantiwar and Prakash Mehta, have been silent. A section of BJP is believed to be having a soft corner towards Thackeray. They are not in favour of repeated attacks against the CM or the state government, as they strongly feel that the government needs to be allowed to function while BJP can play a role of constructive opposition.
On the other hand, all is not well in BJP, as senior leader Eknath Khadse left the party to join NCP, squarely blaming Fadnavis for ruining his prospects and giving preference to his coterie in decision-making. Recently, former minister Jaisinghrao Gaikwad-Patil also resigned to rejoin NCP.