Rajat Sharma

My Opinion

Sadhvi Pragya has apologized, but what about Rahul Gandhi?

akb0210BJP MP from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya had to apologize twice in Lok Sabha on Friday for describing the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi as ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot). In her first apology, she targeted Rahul Gandhi, without naming him, for calling her a ‘terrorist’ and claimed that her ‘deshbhakt’ comment was twisted and misrepresented.

When Opposition members objected to the first apology, the Speaker Om Birla called a meeting of leaders where the text of the second apology was prepared in which she said “I did not call Nathuram Godse a patriot. I did not even take his name. Still, if someone is hurt, I express my regret and apologize.”

Rahul Gandhi however stood by his ‘terrorist’ remark about Sadhvi Pragya, who is presently an accused in Malegaon blast case.

I feel that Sadhvi Pragya made a big mistake by saying whatever she had said, considering the place and context in which the remark was made. She should have apologized in the first instance and the controversy could have been avoided. She should now be careful before making any controversial remark because it unnecessarily puts senior party leaders in a spot.

Now that the controversy has blown over, the question now arises: will Rahul Gandhi accept if his party ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, praises Nathuram Godse? Rahul cannot say that by praising Godse Sadhvi Pragya is a ‘terrorist’ but if the Shiv Sena says the same thing, it can be a political ally.

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Why Uddhav Thackeray has a lot to answer?

AKB2610With the stage set in Shivaji Park for the swearing-in of the first member from Thackeray clan as chief minister, the broad contours of the new Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government have been set after a six-hour-long marathon meeting between the three major constituents.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will surely have a tough time keeping his two major allies happy. Now that the political storm is over, people are still waiting for the Shiv Sena to clarify why it left its decades-old saffron ideology and joined hands with a political rival like the Congress.

Congress had been questioning the very existence of Lord Ram in courts, and Shiv Sena was at the forefront of the Ayodhya Ram temple movement. Shiv Sena had the image of being a saffron party espousing Hindutva, and the Congress used to call all Hindutva supporters as communal. It had been the consistent demand of Shiv Sena to give Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar, the Hindutva ideologue, and Congress used to question the greatness of Savarkar.

The question now is: how will Uddhav Thackeray bridge this wide gap between two opposite ideologies. Uddhav Thackeray and his party organ ‘Saamna’ had been roundly criticizing the Congress, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for decades.

The harsh reality remains that Uddhav Thackeray broke Shiv Sena”s 30-year-old friendship with BJP for the sake of two and a half years of chief ministership. BJP president Amit Shah has said that he or his party never promised chief ministership to the Shiv Sena and in almost every major rally in the presence of Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray, the party projected Devendra Fadnavis as the chief ministerial candidate. Neither Udhav nor Aaditya then challenged this assertion. Election results also showed the BJP had won 105 and the Shiv Sena 56 seats. BJP was clearly the bigger partner and had the right to claim chief ministership.,

Naturally, Shiv Sena leaders have a lot to answer before the people. BJP could have posed these questions in a forthright manner till the time it made the midnight blunder of accepting NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s support.

It is true that Devendra Fadnavis made a big mistake in trusting Ajit Pawar’s promise and he admitted the same in his press conference. But leaders in state BJP, who had been deprived of their ministerial posts and were denied party tickets, have now got the chance to strike back at Fadnavis. BJP leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday questioned the wisdom behind accepting support from Ajit Pawar who is an accused in the massive irrigation scam.

In my long experience as a journalist in the world of Indian politics, I have never seen an individual like Ajit Pawar. He revolted in his family, tried to break the party, attempted to foil his supreme leader’s efforts to forge a coalition, and yet coolly returned to the party and family, saying “I was always with the NCP, I am in the NCP and I shall stay in the NCP.”

At the Wednesday meeting, he occupied a seat nearer to his uncle Sharad Pawar. The Maratha strongman knows that it was Ajit Pawar who practically ran the party for the last two decades, and he has a good hold on most of the party leaders. Surely there has never been such a precedent, with a leader revolting in his party and then coolly returning to claim the seat of power.

Credit for keeping the family and party intact goes to Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, who toiled hard for the past two weeks. She personally welcomed each MLA to the meetings.

Supriya has learnt a lot from her father, who continues to be a mass leader, who had always contacts with the roots, mixing with common people. It is an open secret that Sharad Pawar wanted his daughter to become his political heir, but every time Ajit Pawar used to come in the way. After this political circus, Supriya Sule’s stature has grown considerably, while Ajit Pawar’s stature among his people has taken a hit.

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How Sharad Pawar emerged as the ‘Mahanayak’ of Maharashtra politics

AKB2610The uncertainty is over and the picture is clearer now. Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray will be the new chief minister of Maharashtra, and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar will be at the centre of state politics, keeping a close eye on the Maha Vikas Aaghadi coalition government. The single largest party BJP will sit in the opposition.

The prodigal nephew Ajit Pawar has now said, ‘I was in NCP, I am in NCP and I shall stay in NCP’, meaning that his homecoming is complete. May be he could be made a minister in the new government, and if that happens, tongues may wag and people may say that the entire circus could be Sharad Pawar’s making.

People could say that Sharad Pawar first trapped the Shiv Sena and sent his nephew to the BJP camp, but I think this surmise may not be correct. After watching the political imbroglio in Maharashtra for two months, one can say that what Sharad Pawar said on Monday was true. Pawar had said, BJP should not consider Maharashtra as Goa, Karnataka or Manipur, and any cunning step will not work. Pawar proved this true on Tuesday.

On an overall assessment, whatever has happened cannot be attributed as Uddhav Thackeray’s victory or BJP’s defeat. It portrayed the deft political skills and management of Sharad Pawar.

BJP made a mistake in making an enemy out of Pawar. The 78-year-old political warhorse had already called it a day and had announced that he was retiring from politics and would not contest elections. When the ruling dispensation sent CBI and ED after him and his associates like Praful Patel, the old warhorse decided to re-enter the fray and took the BJP head-on.

He put in his best during the election campaign and addressed crowds despite heavy downpour. When the election results went in favour of BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, he was disappointed, but the Shiv Sena ‘fruit’ fell on its own, into his lap. It was then that Sharad Pawar fought back like a tiger.

He first befriended the Shiv Sena and persistently persuaded the Congress to join the alliance. After tying up the alliance and declaring Uddhav as the leader, he went home, only to find that his nephew had revolted. Even at this old age, Pawar remained awake late into the night and kept the alliance intact.

Look at the irony. First the Congress suspected him when Pawar called on Prime Minister Modi to discuss drought situation, and now the BJP is suspecting that Pawar sent his nephew to their camp to show the ruling party in a bad light. Ultimately, Pawar won, and he has become the ‘mahanayak’ (great hero) of Maharashtra politics.

The outgoing chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who ran the state government for five years commendably, ultimately cut a sorry figure. For five whole years, Shiv Sena criticized his government, made caustic remarks which even the Opposition leaders never made, and yet, during election time, Fadnavis agreed to an electoral alliance.

When the results were out, Uddhav Thackeray joined hands with Sharad Pawar, and when the latter’s nephew came calling, he trusted his words that he had the requisite number of NCP MLAs with him. Ultimately, he lost the gambit, but I would say, ‘to cheat is a sin, and to be cheated is not a sin’.

And Uddhav Thackeray? It was his stubbornness for the chief minister’s chair that ultimately paid off. It was Sharad Pawar who did all the work for him. In the process, Uddhav broke many traditions.

For the first time in the Thackeray family, his son Aditya contested and won the assembly elections. A Thackeray will now become a CM for the first time. It was Udhav who gave his party’s saffron ideology the go-by and joined hands with the Congress. It remains to be seen how he will run the three-party coalition government given the fact that he has had no experience in administration.

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Onus is now on Maharashtra MLAs to decide at the floor test

akb2308Now that the three-judge bench of Supreme Court has directed that a floor test be conducted in Maharashtra assembly on November 27 soon after completion of oath by members, the two-month-long political crisis in the state will reach a decisive point. The newly elected MLAs will decide whether the incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis commands majority or not.

The apex court has directed on Tuesday that there shall be no secret balloting and there shall be a live telecast of the floor test. Earlier, on Monday evening, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress ‘aaghadi’ (alliance) conducted a ‘parade’ of 162 MLAs in a Mumbai hotel, in the presence of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray and senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Khadge. All the MLAs took ‘oath’ not to deviate from their party position and vowed to abide by the directives of their leaders.

The result of the assembly floor test will be out on Wednesday evening. In my reckoning, the present malaise that has affected Maharashtra politics indicates a crisis of trust. None of the camps, or camps within camps, trust the other. The Congress still continues to distrust Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena is yet to show trust in the Congress, and Sharad Pawar, the veteran, old political warhorse, does not appear to trust either the Shiv Sena or the Congress.

Even in the ruling BJP camp, the party leadership is yet to trust the rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who has been anointed deputy chief minister. MLAs do not trust their own party leaders and vice versa. Nobody knows who will go with whom.

It is because of this atmosphere of mistrust that 162 ‘aaghadi’ MLAs assembled in the hotel on Monday were asked to take oath of loyalty. MLAs are being herded like sheep from one hotel to another to evade horsetrading. The onus is now on the MLAs to decide at the floor test whom they want in power.

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How Amit Shah outsmarted Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray

AKB1010 Anything is possible in love, war and politics. On Friday night, the Shiv Sena camp was elated after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar declared that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would head a coalition government for the next five years.

All the morning newspapers on Saturday published headlines about Uddhav to be anointed as the CM, but throughout Friday night, there were secret and hectic developments afoot in Mumbai. BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis along with NCP leader Ajit Pawar went to the Governor to stake claim for forming a government. President’s Rule was revoked quickly and early in the morning, the Governor sworn in Fadnavis as chief minister and Ajit Pawar as his deputy chief minister.

The Congress camp, in particular, was in a state of shock. Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted that he first thought it was a fake news, but as reality dawned, he too was shocked. There was utter confusion in the NCP camp, with several MLAs claiming that they were with their supremo Sharad Pawar, and not his breakaway nephew Ajit Pawar.

By afternoon, Sharad Pawar addressed a press conference with Uddhav Thackeray claiming that all three parties, NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress, had the required numbers to form a government, and that his nephew has acted against his party’s ideology.

Sharad Pawar claimed that hardly 11 out of the 54 MLAs were with his nephew, and even out of those 11, three have returned to the party fold. His associates alleged that Ajit Pawar had “misused” the letter of support given to him by the MLAs for staking claim by filling the blanks with the name “BJP”.

Now that the political situation is still in a state of flux, all eyes will now be on the state assembly where the chief minister will have to prove his majority.

Let it be clear that Ajit Pawar did not join hands with the BJP all of a sudden. Secret talks were going on between him and BJP leaders on forming a coalition government, and it was he who had been dragging his feet for the last one month over tying up a coalition with Uddhav Thackeray.

Ultimately, it was BJP chief Amit Shah who had the last laugh. The midnight political drama was reminiscent of a political ‘surgical strike’. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who was trying to act smart with the BJP has been clearly outsmarted.

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Let us hope SS, NCP, Congress will provide a stable government

akb3010As the long-drawn talks between Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress enter the final lap, there are indications that a coalition government will be formed in Maharashtra after the three parties jointly approach the Governor to stake their claim. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s dream of becoming the chief minister may be fulfilled, though names of other Shiv Sena leaders like Anil Desai and Eknath Shinde are being mentioned.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar wants that the coalition government must be stable, but if we look into past records, coalition governments of this nature hardly last their full tenure, because of inherent contradictions.

The latest failed experiment was in Karnataka. When the JD(S)-Congress coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy was formed, most of the people thought that the two parties have come together to forge an anti-BJP front. Quarrels began only soon after power sharing, and the coalition fell through because there was a clash of interests.

For the sake of the people of Maharashtra, let us all hope that a stable government is formed which can run its full term.

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Why Amit Shah said NRC will be implemented across India

akb0210A storm is brewing over the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC) after Home Minister Amit Shah disclosed in Parliament on Wednesday that the Centre will implement NRC across the country along with Assam. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee declared that her government would not allow the implementation of NRC in her state at any cost.

Amit Shah said in the Rajya Sabha that “the process of NRC will be carried out across the country. No one irrespective of their religion should be worried as it is just a process to get everyone under the NRC”.

The Home Minister clarified that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was different from the NRC. The CAB aims to provide citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who have fled to India to avoid religious persecution, but he said, the NRC has no such provision that says certain religions will be excluded from it. All citizens of India, irrespective of religion, will figure in the NRC list.”

The NRC process to be implemented across India will take time because the National Population Register(NPR) is not ready. The NPR will be updated during the 2021 Census.

There are many apprehensions about NRC in the minds of the people. I would like to point out here that the NRC process was carried out in Assam on the orders of the Supreme Court. The guidelines for carrying out the process were prepared by the apex court. And now that the Home Minister has said that NRC will be implemented across the country, politicians like Mamata Banerjee have become apprehensive.

Mamata Banerjee is opposing the NRC because she fears that this can cause harm to her vote banks in West Bengal. Amit Shah has clarified at the right time that there would be no religious discrimination while preparing the NRC. Let us wait and watch.

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How normalcy is finally returning in Kashmir Valley

AKB2610Three months ago, Articles 370 and 35A granting special status to Jammu & Kashmir were abrogated, and there was a lockdown in the valley. Now, normalcy is finally returning with shops open throughout the day, public transport on the streets and train services restored in the valley. India TV on Tuesday night showed visuals of a large number of patients flocking to the main hospital in Srinagar.

Shopkeepers in the valley were till now afraid of terrorists who had threatened them of retaliation if they opened their shops. Markets have also reopened in the other towns of the valley, like Baramulla, Uri, Kupwara, Sopore and Bandipore. Mini buses, autos and two-wheelers are plying on the streets of Srinagar. The high turnout of students in the recent Class 10 and 12 board exams in the valley points to a return of normalcy.

Now that Jammu & Kashmir has been made a Union Territory, time has come for the Centre to swing into action. The valley needs more hospitals, schools and colleges, better infrastructure and transport. The people of the valley had been deprived of these benefits for the last 72 years, much money went down the drain and now there has been a rise in people’s expectations.

I do hope the Narendra Modi government will try its best to fulfill the expectations of the people at the earliest. The state administration has already promised to give compensation to apple growers who have lost their crops due to early onset of winter. The sooner the compensation is given, the better.

On Tuesday night, India TV showed in its show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’, how our army jawans are keeping a round-the-clock vigil at the Line of Control despite heavy snowfall. Some of these jawans told the Northern Army Commander that they slept hardly for four hours daily and much of their time was spent on keeping a hawk’s eye on infiltrators.

I would appeal to all to heed to PM Narendra Modi’s call to greet our army jawans with loud clapping whenever they say them at airports, railway stations and markets. These jawans protect us so that we can have a sound sleep. Our brave soldiers need our full support.

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Why is Sharad Pawar keeping Shiv Sena on tenterhooks?

akb2308Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar on Monday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi at the latter’s residence and had discussion for nearly 50 minutes. Coming out, Pawar sprang a surprise by telling the media that he did not discuss the issue of alliance with Shiv Sena or government formation in Maharashtra with Sonia Gandhi.

Later Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut called on Pawar and had closed door discussion. There are indications that talks on government formation are making cautious progress. Pawar said, he would talk about the political situation with other smaller allies like Peasants and Workers Party, Shetkari Sangathana and Samajwadi Party, saying this to be the the only “new development in the old situation”.

Sharad Pawar is an experienced politician, and he knows the political situation of his state inside out. Pawar first became the chief minister of Maharashtra 41 years ago, at the age of 38, the youngest chief minister of India at that time. It is for this chief minister’s post that the Shiv Sena has broke its alliance with the BJP. Pawar knows what to speak, and to whom, and he always thinks ten steps ahead.

Look at the way in which he made remarks after the Maharashtra results were out. Pawar first said, BJP and Shiv Sena should form the government and the NCP and Congress would sit in the opposition. He then said, until and unless Shiv Sena breaks away from its alliance with the BJP, no talks can begin. Shiv Sena left the alliance, and three days ago, Pawar said that a coalition government will be formed soon and it will run its full term of five years. Though NCP leaders spoke about a coalition government with the Shiv Sena and Congress, Pawar did not mention Shiv Sena by name.

Pawar’s remarks on Monday clearly indicate that any coalition government that will be formed in Maharashtra will be in accordance with the wishes of NCP. Pawar has played his game well, and the initiative appears to be slipping away from the hands of Shiv Sena. Congress is wary about its Muslim vote bank, and it is therefore following Pawar’s advice closely. The wily Maratha leader has also kept the hopes of BJP alive, and this has now kept the Shiv Sena on tenterhooks.

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Supreme Court verdict on Rafale raises questions over Rahul’s credibility

AKB A three-judge bench of Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed all petitions seeking review of its last year’s verdict giving clean chit to the Modi government in purchase of 36 fully loaded Rafale fighter jets through an inter-government deal with France.

Noting that the price of the basic Rafale jet was marginally cheaper than the one considered by the previous UPA government, the bench dismissed the allegation that the government was responsible for the inclusion of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as an offset partner. The bench said that the offset partner was chosen by the French manufacturer Dassault Aviation.

Rahul Gandhi and the Congress spokesperson on Thursday however quoted a portion of Justice K. M. Joseph’s verdict and claimed that the door for ordering an inquiry was still open. The fact remains that the apex court has outrightly rejected all review petitions, particularly those filed by Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, who had levelled personal charges against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During this year’s Lok Sabha general elections, Rahul Gandhi had persistently used these allegations to attack Modi in his poll campaign, and went to the extent of threatening to put the Prime Minister behind bars once the elections were over. When the Supreme Court gave its original verdict on December 14 last year giving a clean chit to the government, the petitioners filed review petitions challenging the judgement. All these petitions were dismissed on Thursday.

On the whole, these baseless allegations have shown India in a poor light and have affected the nation’s capability for negotiating major defence deals. The apex court verdict on Thursday has restored the credibility and honest image of Modi government, and, in turn, has raised questions over the credibility and sincerity of Rahul Gandhi.

In a related verdict on Thursday, the apex court chided Rahul Gandhi for making false statements during the poll campaign that the Supreme Court had endorsed his ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ jibe at Modi in the context of Rafale deal. The court said, “Certainly (Rahul) Gandhi needs to be more careful in future”. The apex court however dropped contempt proceedings against him by accepting his belated unconditional apology.

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Uddhav will have to bow to most of the demands of NCP, Congress

AKB1411 BJP president and Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday emphatically rejected charges by Congress and NCP leaders that they were denied their “democratic right” to form a government in Maharashtra. The BJP chief said, “the Governor waited for 18 days after notification of the new assembly for some party to come forward and stake claim. Any party or formation of parties could have approached the Governor.”

Shah said, “the invites to explore government formation were sent out by the Governor only when the term of the outgoing assembly ended on November 9, and yet no party could show the requisite numbers to stake claim. Every party asked for extra 1-2 days..Now they have six months. They can approach the Governor any time still now if they have the numbers.”

The BJP chief, for the first time, spoke out on what went wrong with the Shiv Sena. He said, “before the elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I said several times in public that if our alliance wins, Devendra Fadnavis will be the chief minister. No one objected at that time…Now that some new terms are being raised, our party has some reservations and we will discuss these at an appropriate time. ”

Amit Shah’s clarifications have come at the right time. For the last 18 days, Shiv Sena leaders had gone to town claiming that Shah had promised 50:50 power share, meaning two and a half years each for both alliance partners, and that he had agreed to give the CM post to the Shiv Sena.

On Wednesday, Shah clarified that the conditions laid down by Shiv Sena were not acceptable to his party. By saying that “one should not discuss in public what is spoken inside closed rooms”, the BJP chief has sent out the message that he is not interested in a public debate on this issue.

It is now clear that all the parties in Maharashtra have six months’ time to explore ways and means for government formation. Amit Shah’s remarks on Wednesday also indicated that the BJP has not completely opted out from the race.

As far as Shiv Sena is concerned, its supremo Uddhav Thackeray has made the chief minister’s post an issue of prestige. He will need the support of both the NCP and the Congress. Sharad Pawar and Ahmed Patel are experienced politicians and they know this very well. Shiv Sena may have to accept most of the conditions that will be laid down by both these parties, and this could create problems in future for the saffron party.

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How Uddhav Thackeray overplayed his cards

akb1709With President’s rule in force in Maharashtra, all hectic efforts by Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP in the last one week to form a coalition government have now somewhat abated.

Both the NCP and the Congress have now formed committees to prepare a common minimum programme after talks with the Shiv Sena. As of now, nothing is clear as to whether there will be a rotational chief minister or not, and whether there would be a deputy chief minister. Shiv Sena leaders like Arvind Sawant and Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday that their party would insist on getting the chief minister’s post.

The single largest party, BJP, withdrew from the race on November 9. After a long wait, the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari then invited the second largest party, Shiv Sena to explore ways for government formation. The Shiv Sena wanted more time, but the Governor declined to give extension. The third largest party, NCP also wanted three days’ time to form a government, but since there was no clear picture emerging, the Governor recommended President’s rule, which was promulgated on November 12.

All the Congress MLAs, who were herded by the party high command to prevent poaching, have now returned to Maharashtra from Jaipur. On Wednesday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, after meeting Congress leaders in a hotel, claimed that the talks were progressing “in the right direction, and everything is going fine”.

Clearly, this was an attempt by Uddhav Thackeray to shore up the morale of his MLAs, who have been kept at a resort on Madh island. Neither the NCP nor the Congress have yet been committal on the issue of power sharing with the Shiv Sena. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar said on Tuesday that “before the New Year begins, I think Maharashtra should get a new government”.

Former CM Narayan Rane, who had left Shiv Sena several years ago to join the Congress, and later left that party to join the BJP, on Tuesday night claimed that the BJP alone form a government. Rane promised to use “sama, dama, danda, bheda” to form a BJP-led government. He should know better, because he had spent most of his political life in the Shiv Sena and the Congress, and knows both the parties inside out.

The Congress, which had sent its panel of senior leaders like Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge, to Mumbai to meet Sharad Pawar and other NCP leaders, is still non-committal. Patel and Pawar made it clear on Tuesday that both the parties are yet to decide on forging an alliance with the Shiv Sena. Both the leaders said that the two parties would first decide among themselves and then talks would begin with the Shiv Sena.

Sharad Pawar was emphatic. He said, the ideologies of the Congress are different from those of the Shiv Sena. “If the Shiv Sena needs Congress’ support, then there should be clarity on several issues, a common minimum programme has to be prepared, and this process would take time”.

After the joint press conference by Sharad Pawar and Ahmed Patel, several things are now crystal clear. However, fresh questions arise about Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. He had sought the support of the NCP and the Congress only on Monday, and yet his party had not received any firm assurance from these parties till then.

The first question arises as to on what basis the Shiv Sena had staked its claim before the Governor, in the absence of firm assurances of support? The second question that arises is: why Uddhav Thackeray was in a hurry? Why did he direct his party minister to quit the NDA government at the Centre, even before he had not received support from NCP and Congress?

With the political situation still fluid, all that can be said now is, to quote Shakespeare: “Much ado about nothing.”

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