Will Jharkhand go the Maharashtra way?
| Amit Shankar - Senior Journalist, Delhi - 03 Dec 2019

By Amit Shankar

New Delhi, Dec 03, 2019:

The BJP could not muster a majority in Maharashtra even after the abrogation of the politically hyped and party’s most desirable agenda Article 370.

The triple talaq and the Ayodhya dispute issues are also over. None of these issues could save the BJP-led government from defeat in India’s financial capital Maharashtra, also a highly nationalistic Maratha stronghold and one of the strong bastions of the BJP-RSS.

What is surprising is that the BJP continues to highlight these issues in the ongoing assembly elections in Jharkhand despite the recent setbacks to highlight its achievements and demean the opposition. They appear tight-lipped on the declining GDP growth and the drop in urban employment rate, which is vociferously being raised by the opposition parties.

The speeches made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the rallies in ongoing elections in Jharkhand say it all. The BJP has laid thrust on ‘Jal, Jungle and Zameen’ besides portraying itself as an anti-corruption crusader to win back the voters sentiment in Jharkhand. With the saffron party losing its grip over Maharashtra, it would be interesting to witness if it wins the trust in minerals rich Jharkhand.

Maharashtra, which continues to be the single largest contributor to the national economy with a share of 15% in the country’s GDP, witnessed what one would have never thought of. Following days of dramatic political developments, the BJP went on to form a three-day government in the state with unexpected support from NCP’s Ajit Pawar. The BJP’s calculations failed and a major embarrassment followed as Ajit Pawar returned to the Sharad Pawar-led party fold.

The famous song ‘If you missed the train I'm on. You will know that I am gone. You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles’ appeared to be a satire in the context of the Maharashtra game of thrones. Capping days of political suspense and drama, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray finally assumed the office of the Maharashtra Chief Minister and eventually sailed through the trust vote. The political developments proved to be a slap on the face of the BJP and brought to the fore NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s political acumen, the Shiv Sena’s stubbornness and the Congress’ desperation to grab power.

The formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government must, without doubt, be giving sleepless nights to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his man Friday Amit Shah.

The upcoming polls in Delhi and Bihar will further make the political scene clear for 2024.  Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal has so far left no stones unturned in reaching out to all with his people-friendly and issues-based approach, thereby eyeing a second term in office.

Bihar is another state which has always hogged the limelight. The drama post the 2015 assembly polls can never be forgotten. Nitish Kumar taking over as the Chief Minister of a ‘mahagathbandhan’ government and eventually returning to the NDA fold made many wondering as to what was going on in the state. There is no doubt over the fact that Nitish Kumar nurtures prime ministerial ambitions and the so-called ‘paltu chacha’ may go to any extent to keep his aspiration alive.

Jharkhand is voting in five phases and the results would be declared on December 23.

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