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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Mumbai confidential: In A Spot

A section within the BJP holds the opinion that Fadnavis’s Modi-style campaign for the election has boomeranged.

Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Updated: November 4, 2019 3:42:11 am
Questions are also being raised over his handling of the post-poll scenario. As he bids to win office for the second time, Fadnavis finds himself increasingly isolated from within and outside the party.

If our sources are to be believed, a “whisper campaign” has started in the BJP against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with some influential state leaders blaming him for the “political fix” the party is now facing. With the BJP’s own seat tally way lower as compared to 2014, its dependence on the Shiv Sena for government formation has increased. A section within the BJP holds the opinion that Fadnavis’s Modi-style campaign for the election has boomeranged. Questions are also being raised over his handling of the post-poll scenario. As he bids to win office for the second time, Fadnavis finds himself increasingly isolated from within and outside the party.

Serial Party Hopper

Solapur’s Sanjay (Mama) Shinde has done it once again. After winning from the Solapur’s Karmala Assembly seat as an NCP-backed Independent, he has now offered support to the BJP. His political career has been a hop-about in recent times, which has earned him the reputation of being a “serial hopper” in political circles. Originally from the NCP, he had switched over to the BJP in 2014, before earning the NCP’s ticket to contest the Madha Lok Sabha seat. After tasting defeat in that election, he had renewed ties with the BJP only to ditch them for the NCP after the seat was offered to the Shiv Sena. In what had raised eyebrows then, Ajit Pawar had declared NCP support to Shinde’s candidature even as the party had fielded its own candidate from the seat. Maybe Pawar is now regretting his move.

Rabble Rouser

Amid the tussle between the BJP and the Shiv Sena over government formation, Sena leader Sanjay Raut has been in the thick of action articulating his party’s cause. His aggressive posturing vis-à-vis the BJP has seen his clout within his party grow and has won him new followers. With Raut hogging all the limelight, word is that his enhanced clout is causing uneasiness to some other Sena leaders, including those seen as being close to party chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Damage Control

Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew Rohit wrote an emotional post on his Facebook account after facing flak from certain sections for an “over the top” victory procession earlier this week. With Rohit upsetting senior BJP minister Ram Shinde from Karjat Jamkhed, his victory procession earlier this week, which coincided with Pawar’s trip to rain-hit areas, witnessed around 30 JCB vehicles and ten cranes spraying colours on the crowd. The BJP was among the first to target the roadshow, calling it insensitive. Keen on not losing the battle of perception, Rohit lost no time in coming up with the Facebook post, where he claimed that the entire arrangement was made by his supporters, and that none of it was intended to hurt the sentiments of rain-hit farmers.

Lot To Handle

Too many departments and not too many men: that’s how the state’s bureaucracy is functioning at the moment. Amid the uncertainty over government formation, the much-awaited reshuffle of senior bureaucrats has once again been postponed. With several departments lacking a full-time secretary, the system of entrusting additional charges is becoming more a rule than an exception. Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar has been holding housing as well as home portfolios since January. Since March, the state has also gone without a full-time finance secretary. The state does not have a full-time water conservation secretary, and has gone without a full-time cooperatives commissioner for nearly 15 months now.

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