ET View: Government-forming in Maharashtra – unsavoury and entertaining politics

Whatever happens at whatever hour on whatever day in Mumbai, one thing has been ascertained by today’s gubernatorially scripted drama: instead of us witnessing the joining of forces against the Congress, as was the tradition in Maharashtra for years on end, two disparate parties are now banding together to take on a common antagonist: the BJP.

In an irony that won’t be missed by too many, this new proto-alliance of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Shiv Sena — with Congress playing its usual role as ‘Begum saheba’ in a post-aristocratic world — along with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s pulling the carpet from under NCP-Shiv Sena’s feet to quick-start President’s Rule in Maharashtra, only confirms how ‘Congressised’ the central BJP has indeed become.

Even by the usual ‘bias of governors’ that we have become accustomed to over decades, this one takes the pau.

In all this, of course, what is most distressing is that the ‘entertainment’ of post-election results politics has swamped and eclipsed over any notion of popular mandate that the electoral process may serve. Say, a Shiv Sena voter, one of whose reasons for voting for the party may be to keep the Congress out, now faces the prospect of having a government comprising both parties.

Conversely, an NCP voter, ideologically against the decades-old Shiv Sena-BJP ‘Hindutva’ alliance, now finds herself in the precarious position of having to watch the Sena in ‘her camp’.

In the process, the act of voting, if no one had not noticed it before, has become, at best, a round of roulette, and at worst, a joke.

Whatever form of government that takes shape in Maharashtra next – whether a remote-controlled one from ‘North India’, or an extremely unstable oil’n’water concoction of NCP-Sena with a dash of Congress – Indian politics just got its latest unsavoury advertisement. And how entertaining it is.


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