The political scenario is becoming increasingly non political. In Maharashtra, the BJP won 123 seats out of the total 288. Yet the BJP claims there was a Modi wave. A wave would mean at least a clear majority if not much more. They have fallen short of A majority by 22 seats. Yet they have reason to be happy — for the first time they have become the largest single party in the Maharashtra assembly. But considering the wave they had in the Lok Sabha election, where contrary to all expectations they got a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, the Maharashtra result cannot be considered to be very exciting.
NCP, seeing the movement, cleverly announced that they will give unconditional support to the BJP. It is surprising that a large party like the BJP with its current all India stature did not even react. In fact a mature political party would have reacted and said there is no question of taking support from the NCP because first of all they are in opposition to us and secondly their track record is very poor, charges of corruption are rampant. We will prefer to sit in the opposition rather than take such support. After all, if they can take support of the NCP why cannot they take support of the Congress? Prithiv Raj Chavan has a far cleaner image than any of the NCP leaders in Maharashtra.
It is pitiable that there is a non political atmosphere. Traders and businessmen always talk arithmetic and they feel that with 123 seats we get a clear majority. But that is not how politics is done. If it is only arithmetic, then all the time, anybody can join anybody. There will be no ideology. It is disappointing that the Maharashtra BJP did not take a principled stand. The rumor is that Nitin Gadkari is close to Sharad Pawar and that’s how all this was initiated. But all said and done the BJP should keep its dignity; either they should form a Government with the Shiv Sena, their natural ally, or by themselves or with the help of independents, certainly not with the help of the Congress and the NCP.
Similarly, on the other side we find the Congress not putting its act together. After all, Mr. Modi has been elected for five years only. After five years, you have a chance to again convince the people. But that can happen only if the Congress party activates itself. Rahul Gandhi has not given his mind, whether it is on the job to run the party and become Prime Minister. Or he is not interested. If he is not interested he should appoint somebody who will lead the party effectively. What happens in 2019 nobody knows. But at least there should be a major opposition party giving it a good shot. At the moment the Congress is behaving again non political. All the issues they raise are very small. Chidambaram makes a statement. Other Congressmen do not like it. There is a non political atmosphere again. Nobody is seriously applying their mind to prepare the party for the next election.
In Maharashtra, the swearing on ceremony was held in Wankhede stadium. With a victory like this, you can have a celebration. But the disappointing part is that having booked a stadium they can keep all the activities inside the complex. Here on the road also there was celebration. If that had to happen, then Chowpatty or Azad Maidan would have been a better venue. Why go to the stadium? I think the Maharashtra BJP was so overwhelmed by success that they have already thrown all norms to the winds and started behaving in their own way.
The Maharashtra administration does good work in comparison with other States. The bureaucracy is in place. Norms are not flouted except if the politicians want to flout them. If the new CM, who has a good reputation, keeps to the rules, Maharashtra will run well because the bureaucrats in Maharashtra are not the types who like to break rules or do something brazen. Haryana, of course, they have elected a trader but rumour has it that he is a stop gap arrangement till a proper charge is formed to lead the state. Captain Abhimanyu stands a better chance but he was considered too junior to be given charge immediately. Manohar Lal is an old RSS veteran and he will probably mentor Abhimanyu to take over in six months or one year or whenever. The BJP has got a chance to rule this State which it has never ruled and it is time when they also put their people into practice to show that they can also administer well.
Ultimately, it is not just the popularity that counts. As the Prime Minster has said, least Government, maximum governance. People will find the fruits of governance only when the results will come. The BJP is lucky that petroleum prices are coming down, balance of payments will improve, current account deficit will improve, there will be a golden chance for the Central Government to do well. How far manufacturing units can come in India is not easy, because ‘ease of doing business’ in India is quite difficult. So only the companies which are familiar with India will come here. Getting new entrepreneurs to put up factories here is not so easy. However on infrastructure, power generation etc. the Government will give a big push. All these augur well for the BJP Government at the Centre. How much advantage they can take will have to seen.