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Maharashtra: Do political parties have their ideology of any sort?


By Dr. Birbal Jha

With Uddhav Thackeray being sworn in as 18th chief minister of Maharashtra on 28th November 2019, what goes well is the colloquial saying – it’s not over until the fat lady sings. Nothing is unfair in politics when it comes to grabbing the power.  A skilful display of ideological differences at public fora is more of  a pseudo-intellectual flimflam. 

A political ideology to which people in common are made to align and get affiliated is a sheer eye-wash and a web of deceit on part of political parties. Hence, the so-called ideology is meaningless and gobbledygook.  

The hands of the electorates get tied once they queue up before the election booths, cast their votes and results are declared thereafter. 

Systematically, their role concludes with their mandate is entrusted with representatives they choose. For that reason, they cannot withdraw their votes already cast in favour of particular party or individual in case their mandate is not honoured the way election manifesto was explained before voting. A picture in this regard is quite clear with the recently held elections in the state of Maharashtra and month-long melodrama thereafter.  

Dramatic formations of governments intrigued every politically sensitive citizen. 

It was apparent that the electorates of the state gave a clear majority to the BJP- Shiv Sena combine which was a pre-poll alliance. Voters were clear with their hearts and minds with respect to what they wanted was  a  BJP-Sena Government.  To this effect, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) was given almost double seats (105) in comparison to Sena (56) mathematically in the 288 seat assembly.


Considering the sentiments of the body of voters, it has a comprehensible meaning that BJP was to play a bigger role and Shiv Sena a junior. But then what game Shiv Sena has played so shrewdly so far is before the naked eyes of the country.  The move is of course not in tune with what people wanted with their exercise of franchise rights. However, each political party has a different narrative to suit them.  They have begun to stoop so low as nobody would expect.


The fallout of this political scenario has a valid question where do the electorates stand wrong? Why should they henceforth acknowledge the pre-poll coalition only to see it broken in the tussle of power-sharing?  Is their mandate so flimsy that it cannot be given any shape by the politicians in connivance with their opponents? Does it go with the spirits of electoral politics the country ideally and philosophically presents through the text books and public discourses?  

Is the time up for the nation to take a call on a two-party system?

Today, the soul of Balasaheb Thackeray who founded Shiv Sena may be crying at the change of heart of the party that claimed to have a certain ideology on which it has ridden piggyback since its inception 19th June 1966. 

Other way around, it stands to reason that Shiv Sena turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and is on the same page with Congress. They have no ideological difference at all however; they have always claimed just to win over the gullible people. It seems they have succeeded in throwing   dust into the eyes of the public. 

What only matters for a party is to grab power by hook or by crook. There is no hard and fast political ideology at all.  Everything seems to be seasonal just as frogs croak with the season in.  

Apparently, with Shiv Sena going back on its alliance with BJP post-election, no party including BJP was able to stake a claim to form the government. Hence, the president rule was imposed. In between, what prompted BJP to hurry-scurry and form the government only to survive three days? Such a move dents the party image and also questions its political ideology more particularly when it gets set to shake the hands with  tainted Ajit Power, a leader of Nationalist Congress Party headed by his Sharad Pawar.    

Flocking the newly elected legislators from one hotel to another gave an impression of how a shepherd commands his herd of goats and sheep for shearing. Their parade was mocking the idealistic concept of Bapu’s politics. The country was all giggles at the sight of unprecedented bundling of the legislators into buses and their parade before the media. What message does it give to the young generation that these law-makers are merely puppets in the hands of their political masters? Political hostage of elected representatives poses many loaded questions which parties have to answer in days to come.


On the face of it, bizarre has been the role of the grand old party congress, who in 2006 just to keep the BJP out installed an independent MLA Madhu Koda as CM of Jharkhand.  How the state was plundered is an open secret now. Lalu Prasad had come to power, riding piggyback on congress.  The scars of Lalu-Rabri misrule are so deep in the state that it would take a long time to heal. The open question remains to be answered whether political parties have any sort of ideology to stick to? Can’t we rise above party politics at times and think of strengthening the largest democracy of the world?


(Dr. Jha is a noted author and the Managing Director of Lingua Multiservices Pvt Ltd. Views are his personal)