Is the BJP looking to topple the Uddhav Government?
BJP allied Twitter Handles that have often given out details of BJP’s Maharashtra strategy are now putting out details of likely defections from the MVA. Whether this info is real or fake is difficult to say but let us explore this issue in depth.
Last 6 years, Congress MLAs Defect, BJP Topples
During the last 6 years, the BJP has toppled numerous Congress Governments
- Congress Government in Arunachal Pradesh
- RJD- JD(U)-Congress Government in Bihar
- Congress-JD(S) Government in Karnataka
- Congress Government in Madhya Pradesh
In 3 of the 4 above cases, Congress party MLAs defected to the BJP enabling the BJP to form the Government. Congress MLAs defected in Gujarat, Goa and Uttarakhand as well.
BJP has a good base of MLAs to target the MVA
The Maharashtra Assembly Situation is as follows
BJP – 105 Seats
Shiv Sena – 56 Seats
NCP – 54 Seats
Congress – 44 Seats
MIM/SP/CPM – 5 Seats
Others: 24 Seats
To form the next Government, the BJP needs to get 15-20 of the ‘others’ and another 20-25 seats from the 3 major parties of the MVA. It is not an impossible task.
BJP usually waits about a year to topple a Government.
Arunachal – 15 months
Bihar – 21 months
Given the past track record, it was anyway likely that the BJP would have taken a shot by the end of the year. The current moment offers both an opportunity and risk for the BJP. It is an opportunity because the situation is rapidly deteriorating in Mumbai and there are many who think a ‘better leader aka Fadnavis’ might solve the problem. On the other hand, the situation is high risk because what happens if the BJP ends up in a situation where things get even worse under their watch (Like in MP). Further, any toppling will involve the speaker and the courts and those delays may further complicate the COVID-19 relief effort.
But before that, it is still unclear if the BJP has numbers in its hand to start with. It is not a difficult task though given the number of MLAs who need to be pleased by all the 3 parties. The Congress in particular which struggles to keep it folks together in most States.
Looking at all the above information, it is clear that the BJP will take a shot at the MVA Government. Given the current levels of risk, it may not do that in the next few weeks. It may probably do that somewhere between Late June and December depending on how COVID-19 crisis plays out and when the BJP is sure about its support. But it will definitely take a shot!