The Maharashtra defeat a jolt to BJP’s muscle power
The defeat of BJP’s diabolic game in Maharashtra on the Constitution day of November 26 is the biggest blow to the image of Modi-Shah duo since the formation of the second Narendra Modi government at the centre in May this year. Only the senior BJP leaders, especially the President Amit Shah, would understand the impact that this formation of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in the financial capital of India will have on the money and muscle power of the party in the coming days.
Mumbai is the epicentre of corporate India and a large share of funds from the corporates are accrued from Maharashtra. Now, the sudden loss is sure to give a halt to that growth momentum and the Congress and the NCP, apart from Shiv Sena, should be in a position to take away a good share of the funds from the corporates that were otherwise diverted to the BJP.
The BJP took big advantage of the electoral bonds in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as also in the state assembly elections later. The ADR report shows that a third of the electoral bonds were sold in Mumbai and the BJP got lion’s share of these bonds. However, there are so many ways for the ruling Party in a state can mobilise funds for the elections from the cash-rich financial capital of the country.
Congress leaders in Karnataka have accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of misusing electoral bonds to raise money anonymously to fund not just assembly elections last year but also engineering defections to destabilise governments formed by other parties across the country. A recent expose revealed how the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) broke rules for illegal sale of electoral bonds by citing exceptions to the rule. According to the report, rules for the issuing of electoral bonds were relaxed ahead of elections in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.
The Congress and its estranged ally, the JD(S) have accused the BJP of using black money to lure legislators from other parties. A total of 17 legislators from Congress and JD(S) resigned and later defected to the BJP that led to the collapse of the 14 month old H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in Karnataka.
The BJP is fielding 13 out of the 17 defectors in the 5 December by-polls that will determine the future of the four-month old government of Yediyurappa. The election affidavit furnished by the defectors show a massive increase in their wealth from last year, attracting sharp reactions from the opposition accusing the BJP of paying huge amounts of money to engineer the defection.
For the BJP, there are serious causes for worry if the coalition government remains stable in Maharashtra. The state government with its official machinery is expected to launch investigations into a number of cases involving the BJP leaders like the PMC Bank scam and DHFL.
The Congress must not lose this big opportunity to take on the BJP. One commentator mentioned in his column the parallel of Hitler versus West and Stalin. Yes, the present political situation demands that. The wreckers of the Constitution are ruling at the centre and they are celebrating the 70th year of the Indian Constitution. There is need for all out unity against the Sangh Parivar. Shiv Sena can also be a part of that broad unity.
There is every need for the Congress and other democratic forces to ensure that the anti-BJP front expands in the coming period in the interests of protecting the constitutional values of India.