Political History of Maharashtra

Maharashtra politics is muddled. Earlier there were two alliances weighing for power. One UPA, and another NDA. Later, in 2014 assembly elections, it increased to four. Four parties Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party were weighing for power.Of late it looks as if many factions of RPI, dalit faction, headed by upcoming Dalit Leader Jignesh Mevani jumping into the fray. Now there are too many contestants.

Maharashtra was born on 1st may 1960. There was a bloody history behind the formation. Jawaharlal Nehru and Morarji Desai (then CM of Bombay state) were against making Bombay capital of Marathi speaking state. In January 1960, demonstrators were fired upon by the police at Flora Fountain, which was later renamed as Hutatma Chowk or Martyr’s Crossroad I their memory. It is estimated that in all, 105 people were shot by security forces during the period of agitation and at different places. Morarji Desai was then removed and replaced by Yashwantrao Chavan as a result of criticism related to this incident.

Maharashtra politics is dominated by Congress and NCP. In 55 years of its existence there were oly two Non-Congress/Congress-NCP governments. One was BJP government of 1995-99 and other being the current one. Between1963-1975 there was only one Chief Minister- Vasantrao Naik but from 1975-1995 there were 7 chief ministers serving total of 11 terms reflecting the instability. The Right –wing party Shiv Sena standing for pro-Hindu pro-Marathi ideology was formed in 1960 by Balasaheb Thackeray- the other right wing party in country was Bharatiya Sangha which was formed in 1951. Though Shiv Sena’s main influence was Mumbai and it could not grow in the rural Maharashtra and thus could not form the govt. until 1995. One of the tallest figures in Maharashtra politics- Sharad Pawar split from Congress in 1999 and formed Nationalist Congress Party, whose main area of influence Western Maharashtra. In 2014 Lok Sabha election when BJP+Shiv Sena won 42 out  of 48 seats in Maharashtra, 4 of those 6 lost seats were won by NCP in their Western Maharashtra Constituencies.

Shiv Sena was always big brother of BJP in Maharashtra, which was formed much later in 1980. Raj Thackeray split from Shiv Sena and formed his own Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in 2006. The party had an ideology of Son of Soil. There were split of votes by him between him and NDA in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Though Maharashtra politics was dominated by Congress, so was that of the center for many decades, but scenario has changed drastically and Bharatiya Janata Party has its dominance in the state.Maharashtra could not give India a  Prime Minister till date.

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