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Maharashtra and the Game of thrones

Aaditya thackeray inviting Congress cheif Sonia Gandhi at Uddhav Thackeray's swearing ceremony

Mumbai, Nov 28 (UITV): Sinhasan (Throne), the cult Marathi film by Jabbar Patel released in 1979, a fantastic cinema presenting the triumph derisive rough and tumble of politics in Maharashtra. The real life seems to copy the reel life.

Such unexpected rapid progress left nearly everyone surprised, except those who carried out the daring political ousting. On Friday night, Shiv Sena was all set to lead a coalition in alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, shaky no doubt, in Maharashtra; most believed it was done and dusted. Come Saturday morning, the troika were left red-faced as news filtered in about how the governor had sworn in a government. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), overnight forced a split in the NCP by winning over Ajit Pawar, its legislative leader and nephew of NCP leader Sharad Pawar. Eventually, Devendra Fadnavis is back in the chair as chief minister.

Deeply, the unfoldings are very similar to the plot engraved by in the movie Sinhasa by Patel, the maipulations and the series of occurences can sound familiar to those who have seen the movie. Whatever the fate of the next government might be, it is clear that the Maharashtra episode has formalized some new ground rules for Indian politics.

Doubtlessly, the BJP has once again repeated its claim to be the new pole of Indian politics. It has now become the party to beat as the Narendra Modi juggernaut continues to notch up electoral gains. It is not just the clueless Opposition, but even the allies are difficult and nervous about the progress of BJP. Not surprising then that many political players are cuddling a new normal in what is now progressively a very risky game as the base of Indian polity are being reinvented. In the process, the political parties are emphasizing the bonding attitude to electoral power.

The reason why BJP’s rivals are now willing to shed their long-held ideological positions to realise their primary objective of stalling if not stopping the Modi juggernaut. Presume they realise that this strategy is a brand—cuts on both sides.

In the case of Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, the more right-wing among the Saffron twins, would usually have been untouchable, specifically for the Congress party—which despite its occasional soft Hindutva stance has shunned the saffron party. Yet, driven by the adage of “enemy’s enemy is my friend" the Congress party pounds what it would have previously described as an “unholy" alliance with the ultra-right Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Rapidly it has, forever, debilitates its own USP in the fight against BJP.

From BJP’s perspective, the Maharashtra scheme by its rivals, will get quicker past the customary of the party. Already, most political parties have begun to align with the larger national narrative—like the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir—being set by the BJP as extends its national electoral footprint. By entering into an electoral alliance with the Shiv Sena, this rightward shift in India’s polity may just have got another leg-up.

In the final analysis then it is clear that irrespective of what becomes apparent in government formation in Maharashtra, the unfolding over the last few weeks emphasize the readjustment ongoing in Indian politics. An objective analogy is that a modification in the economic ideology—with a bigger recreation for market forces will not delay anymore in entering.