After 2.5 years of an unholy alliance between Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra, the curtains finally fell on Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra Chief Minister. Replacing him, Eknath Shinde took oath as the new CM of Maharashtra and Devendra Fadnavis as the Deputy CM.
With this, not only did Shiv Sena retain the CM’s chair, but it also ensured that its return to Hindutva fold with BJP as its natural ally. It is no secret that the one to engineer the entire coup was BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, who himself had been the most likely claimant of the chief ministership, not once but twice, in the last 2.5 years.
However, Fadnavis, 51 years of age, has displayed solid leadership and strategic skills, never losing sight of the big picture. Since the great betrayal by Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis not only predicted the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), but he also actively made it happen by attacking the chinks in its armour.
Putting MVA on Backfoot: Fadnavis kept the spotlight on cases of extortion, bribery, and money laundering tumbling out of the ruling alliance’s kitty and ensured that even those in the high-ups face the law, including Minister Nawab Malik and former state home minister Anil Deshmukh.
Kept BJP’s Flock Together: Despite being out of power, not a single BJP MLA defected. Fadnavis made sure that the BJP sails through crucial Rajya Sabha and Maharashtra Legislative Council polls with flying colours.
Stuck to Hindutva Credentials: Devendra Fadnavis never compromised on Hindutva. He raised the Hindu concerns vociferously, be it the Palghar lynching or Hanuman Chalisa row, without mincing words or indulging in monkey balancing.
Elections in other states: Fadnavis, also, came through as an election strategist in states such as Bihar and Goa.
The party appointed him as the election in charge of Bihar in 2020. The party won 74 seats becoming a majority partner in the NDA alliance.
During the Goa elections in 2022, Fadnavis’s services were again sought. The party won 20 seats and managed to form a government in alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), TMC’s pre-poll alliance partner.
In the latest episode, the former Maharashtra CM showed grace and discipline as he stepped aside to allow Shinde to take the mantle of chief ministership. Though reluctant, he took on the role of Deputy CM on the party’s call. With his administrative experience and political agility, one could expect more fireworks in Maharashtra’s politics ahead.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.