What bloomed at night withered away in day. The Fadnavis government in Maharashtra had to bow out of office within three days of swearing-in. It could be mere coincidence that the unceremonious exit took place on the day the nation celebrated 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India. A deplorable aberration of the principles enshrined in the Constitution was set right with the resignations of Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar. It is another matter that the Supreme Court had to intervene to stop the marauders of the statute from doing more harm to the democratic principles. One cannot but recall what Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar said: “ I feel, however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot.”
The Maharashtra episode, shameless and reckless to the core, cannot be seen in isolation. Governments at the Centre and States have been indulging in grave assaults on Constitution time and again. One does not have to travel in time for long to locate such constitutional coups. The way governments were formed in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Karnataka is fresh in our memory. The party which had no majority after the Assembly elections came to power through backdoor in these States. Power and pelf are used to make or unmake governments.
Constitutional provisions, Supreme Court verdicts and well-nurtured traditions fell by the wayside in Maharashtra as power-hungry politicians tried to usurp power by hook or by crook. What is more worrying is the involvement of constitutional functionaries in the power drama. It is doubtful whether the Governor while accepting the letter of support of Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party checked its veracity. Doubts should have cropped up in his mind as only the previous evening the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine had announced its decision to form the government. Hence the letter of Ajit Pawar should have rung alarm bells in Governor’s mind. Equally mysterious is the express speed by which the President revoked the Central Rule in the State to facilitate the swearing-in by Devendra Fadnavis. But when a party with mindless pursuit of power is behind the script of this political drama, principles are thrown out the window. People with gargantuan appetite for power will use ‘rubber stamps’ to suit their game plan.
The BJP has lost face in this three-day political thriller. Now it is for the three-party Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, the constituents of which are ideologically poles apart, to prove that they will not let the people down. They should manage their contradictions keeping the well-being of the State in mind. They should understand the danger posed by a party which is out to expand, no matter what the cost may be. The Common Minimum Programme announced by the Front spells out several measures to bring solace to farmers, the unemployed and the homeless, besides several steps to improve the health and other sectors. Though Shiv Sena is considered close to BJP in ideology, the Aghadi has put it in black and white that they would stick to the secular credentials of the nation. Only time will tell the fate of the promises, and the destiny of the Aghadi.(Published on 02nd December 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 49)