Maharashtra Politics: Maharashtra is one of the most politically significant states in India, with Mumbai being its capital city. It is also one of the wealthiest states, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. Maharashtra has a rich political history, with leaders like Bal Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, and Vilasrao Deshmukh having a massive influence on the state’s politics.
The state’s politics have been dominated by two major political parties, the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Shiv Sena, along with regional parties like the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
The state of Maharashtra has a long and rich history of political and social movements. In the 1960s and 70s, there were several mass movements in Maharashtra, including the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, which led to the formation of the state of Maharashtra in 1960. The state’s politics have also been heavily influenced by social reformers like Jyotirao Phule and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who fought for the rights of Dalits and other marginalized communities.
In recent years, Maharashtra’s politics have been dominated by issues like unemployment, agrarian distress, and regional identity. The state has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with thousands of people losing their jobs and businesses shutting down. The pandemic has also exposed the fault lines in Maharashtra’s healthcare system, with reports of oxygen shortages and inadequate medical facilities.
Apart from the pandemic, Maharashtra has also been facing several other challenges, including rising crime rates and environmental degradation. The state’s urban areas are grappling with issues like traffic congestion, pollution, and inadequate infrastructure, while rural areas are facing problems like water scarcity and poor healthcare facilities.
In the midst of all these challenges, Maharashtra’s political leaders are trying to come up with solutions that can benefit the state’s people. The Shiv Sena-led government has announced several measures to support the state’s economy, including the creation of a special fund for small and medium-sized enterprises and a loan waiver for farmers.
The opposition parties, including the BJP and Congress, have criticized the government’s handling of the pandemic and other issues, and have called for more accountability and transparency in governance. They have also called for more investment in sectors like healthcare, education, and infrastructure.
The Rise of Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena, a right-wing party founded by Bal Thackeray in 1966, has been one of the most influential parties in Maharashtra’s politics. The party started as a regional party, mainly focused on the Marathi-speaking population of Maharashtra. However, over the years, it has evolved into a national party with a significant presence in states like Goa and Bihar.
Shiv Sena’s rise to power can be attributed to its aggressive stance on issues like regional identity, unemployment, and crime. The party’s aggressive campaign against the influx of outsiders in Mumbai helped it gain a massive following among the Marathi-speaking population.
The Alliance with the BJP
In 2014, Shiv Sena formed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and contested the state elections together. The alliance won a thumping majority and formed the government in Maharashtra. However, the alliance turned sour over the next few years, with Shiv Sena accusing the BJP of not giving it enough representation in the state government.
In 2019, the BJP and Shiv Sena contested the state elections separately, with the BJP emerging as the single largest party. However, Shiv Sena formed an alliance with the NCP and Congress, two parties it had bitterly opposed in the past, to form the government in Maharashtra.
The Present Scenario
The current government in Maharashtra is led by Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray, who is the first member of the Thackeray family to hold the post of Chief Minister. The government has been in power since November 2019 and has faced several challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and floods in several parts of the state.
The Shiv Sena-led government has been criticized for its handling of the pandemic, with many accusing it of mismanaging the crisis. However, the government has also announced several measures to support the state’s economy, including a relief package for farmers and a loan waiver for small businesses.
Maharashtra’s politics have always been dynamic and ever-changing. The state has been a battleground for national parties like the BJP and the Congress, as well as regional parties like the Shiv Sena and NCP. The current government in Maharashtra, led by Shiv Sena, faces several challenges, including the pandemic and an economic slowdown. However, the government has also announced several measures to support the state’s economy and improve the lives of its people.
The future of Maharashtra’s politics is uncertain, with new parties and alliances emerging every year. However, one thing is certain – the state will continue to be a significant player in India’s political landscape for years to come.