Manav writes why NCP-Congress in the Mahavikas Aghadi bear little brunt of accountability and all the fingers are pointed at Shivsena.
The state of Maharashtra is in news since November 2019 now. Earlier when how the political parties made a complete joke out of voter’s mandate and now with the attitude of the state government towards the Wuhan Coronavirus and the recent Sadhu lynching case at Palghar, the government has always been questioned. Even though there is a coalition government of the NCP-Congress-Shivsena in Maharashtra, fingers have only been pointed towards CM Uddhav and Shivsena. It seems that people have almost forgotten that even the secular political parties are in power. There are various factors responsible which make the people ignore that even Congress and Nationalist Congress Party are in power.
(1) The way Shivsena came to power – Shivsena and Congress have never been allies. Shivsena, a son of the soil party was against Congress and their allies because of fact that the party president is no person who has attained Indian citizenship on the basis of birth. The election campaign of Shivsena has always been showing that it is a party that stands for the rights of Marathi Manus, those who actually belong to the state of Maharashtra. Even though there were instances when Shivsena did support the NCP or Congress in certain decisions but it completely rejected the idea of forming a government with them. In spite of having close relations with Sharad Pawar, in 1999 Balasaheb in an interview had used the term ‘scoundrel’ while rejecting all the possibilities of forming a government with NCP. Both the parties, Congress and Shivsena had mutual hatred against each other. Shivsena and hated Sonia Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi hated Shivsena’s Hindutva. But during the government formation process in Maharashtra, it was Shivsena that broke the alliance with BJP and decided to join hands with the Cong + alliance. The Cong+ alliance was never interested to form the government and Shivsena approached NCP and Congress after they felt betrayed by BJP. This showed the desperation which CM Uddhav and his party members had for power. So even if something goes wrong, people will attack a party which ready to join hands with its enemy in the name of serving the people of the state. If they fail in doing so, questions will be raised on their ability.
(2) Shivsena’s influence in Maharashtra – It won’t be wrong to say that Shivsena has lost its dominating nature after it has come in power or in fact they lost it much after Balasaheb’s death. In Balasaheb’s era, Shivsena had the power to dominate Maharashtra and specifically the Mumbai Metropolitan Region even if it was not in power. The Sena managed to unite the Hindus, the Marathi Manus, and had a strong workforce with them. It made sure that those who belong to the state should be the first to receive all the benefits. It had a great influence on Maharashtra politics. But now there is no such thing left. Today’s Shivsena seems vulnerable. To describe the current situation of Shivsena perfectly, it has become a puppet of NCP and Congress. After the Palghar incident, many questions were raised on CM Uddhav and Shivsena specifically. Maharashtra’s Home Minister Anil Deshmukh belongs to the NCP yet CM Uddhav and Shivsena was criticized more. Why? Because of the fact that Sena has maintained silence on this lynching. It didn’t criticize this lynching but on the contrary, they started to point out similar instances that happened in Maharashtra during 2014-2019 when BJP was in power. This response of theirs backfired because they didn’t realise that they themselves were in power with BJP from 2014-2019. The Shivsena could have tried to put some burden on NCP and Sharad Pawar because the Home Minister is from NCP but they chose not to. Fingers were again pointed towards CM Uddhav and Shivsena when a man who criticized NCP minister Jitendra Awhad was allegedly beaten up. It seems CM Uddhav is trying to take the responsibility and blame of all the wrongdoings committed by the members of NCP and Congress. Such an incident shouldn’t even take place if a strong right-wing political party is in power and even if it does, strong action should be taken by the Shivsena. It cannot remain quiet. Just to please a few, CM Uddhav and Shivsena are losing out on a lot.
(3) Shivsena’s ideology – Shivsena has been an ardent follower of Hindutva. It is one of the oldest political parties in the country to follow Hindutva. The party has fought elections in the name of Hindutva since its beginning. Even after joining hands with the so-called secular parties of our country, strong followers of Shivsena were rest assured that Hindutva won’t be compromised. But little by little a compromise was made. In a rally in Ayodhya, it was pretty shocking that Shivsena had to prove the masses that they still follow Hindutva. First, a professor of The Mumbai University was removed from office just because he had pro-Savarkar views which Congress and NCP don’t. The Sena, which spoke about giving a Bharat Ratna to Savarkar now seemed helpless on the removal of a professor who agreed with their views. Now after the Palghar lynching, all are behind Shivsena more than Congress and NCP. People cannot see an extreme right-wing political party, asking for votes in the name of Hindutva, to remain silent on the lynching of 2 Sadhus. They cannot see that a political party established by Balasaheb, who was often addressed as Hindusamrat, bears violence against the Hindu community. How much ever it tries to be secular, the party will continue to have a stamp of being a Hindu party, and any action against Hindus or Hindu religion happens in the state, fingers will be pointed towards Shivsena and not NCP or Congress.
In an alliance, all the members should be held responsible and not just one person. If only one person is taken under scrutiny it will reduce the accountability of the government towards the citizens. People should try and ask questions to the other 2 political parties as well and not just one. Anything wrong happens, the entire government is responsible for it and not just one political party which is a part of it.
– Manav Asrani