The manner in which Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari publicly expressed his desire to step down on Tuesday can definitely be called sudden, but not unexpected. For some time, the demand for his removal from the post had become very strong and the ruling BJP was also finding itself uncomfortable in defending him. His tenure of about three years was famous due to controversies arising out of statements and allegations made by the opposition. If the previous government of Uddhav Thackeray-led Mahavikas Aghadi continues to feel troubled due to the attitude of the Governor, then nothing special will be considered in it. For some time now this trend is being seen in many states, especially in those states where the government is of non-BJP parties. The special thing here is that the statements of the Governor knowingly or unknowingly hurt the sentiments of common people outside the political circle. And this happened not once, but several times. Sometimes he was seen in a video making fun of the childhood marriage of Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai, a well-known social worker, and sometimes said that if Marwaris and Gujaratis are removed, Mumbai will no longer be the financial capital of the country.
In November last year, he said at a function that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a hero of the olden times. He named Babasaheb Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari as heroes of the new era. Naturally, there was a strong reaction in the state. Even within the BJP, a section of opinion was being formed that if the leadership did not take any decision soon, then the party would also have to bear the brunt of these statements.
It is worth noting that this announcement by Governor Koshyari has come at a time when Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections are less than two months away. These elections of Asia’s richest municipal corporation are very important not only for the Shiv Sena and its breakaway Eknath Shinde faction but also for the BJP. In the 2017 elections, BJP and Shiv Sena fought together and out of 227 seats, Shiv Sena won 95 and BJP 82 seats. This time not only BJP and Shiv Sena are different, but a section of Shiv Sena has also broken away and joined BJP. Traditionally, the control of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation has been the main source of strength of the Shiv Sena.
This time, if the Shiv Sena has to prove that only MLAs and MPs have gone with Shinde in the split, Shiv Sainiks and voters have remained with Uddhav Thackeray, then it will have to perform well in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation elections. Obviously, BJP would also like to make up for the possible damage done by Governor Koshyari’s statements in time. But the eyes are now set on how quickly the central government is able to make alternative arrangements in view of the governor’s wishes.
The countdown started with the statement on Shivaji… Why is Maharashtra Governor Koshyari so controversial?