The Maha Vikas Aghadi, born out of an alliance of unprecedented political compulsions, has landed itself in choppy waters. The arrest of police officer Sachin Waze and his political ties to Shiv Sena, the allegations of extortion made by former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh against home minister Anil Deshmukh of the NCP, and an alleged meeting between Union home minister Amit Shah and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has strained the alliance, perhaps even to the point of breaking.
For BJP, the new developments couldn’t have come at a better time. The prospect of the Sena-NCP-Congress enduring till the end of this assembly’s term would have worried BJP no end. For one, Maharashtra is India’s richest state by a fair distance and governing it helps the opposition build up political funding. Secondly, the electoral alliance of the three parties would pose a headache for BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
If the MVA collapses under the weight of its contradictions, the familiar trope of MLAs resigning or switching sides won’t be needed. The developments also feed into BJP’s narrative of corruption, instability and chaos in coalition politics. With Congress watching from the sidelines, it falls to Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar to chart the way ahead. Interesting times beckon Maharashtra.