As the BJP-led government has already crossed the three years in power, it is Fadnavis' clean image is widely seen as the single most positive aspect despite many internal and external challenges it faces. But now the biggest challenge in his career as Chief Minister of Maharashtra has come in the form of red march by around 35,000 farmers belongs to Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha (ABKS). And BJP’s former ally-turned-foe Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray also announced his support for farmers march. Former union agriculture minister and Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) president Sharad Pawar also blamed the state government that Fadnavis has failed in solving farmers' problems and the BJP government do not have the right to be in power.
The agitating farmers point their accusing finger at Fadnavis. ABKS leaders said: “the farmers were promised a loan waiver package of Rs 34,000 crore by the Fadnavis government. But in reality, a much lesser amount has been deposited in the farmers' accounts. Fadnavis government had promised loan waiver to 89 lakh farmers.”
Till now, the taunts by ally Shiv Sena and the campaign by Maratha community for reservation were the major troubles of Fadnavis. But around 35,000 farmers want to gherao the Maharashtra Assembly on Monday, March 12, how is the Chief Minister going to face this red march? Shiv Sena has already announced their exit from the alliance with BJP. This farmers’ community is an important vote bank as far as BJP is concerned. Fadnavis says that Maharashtra government had already deposited Rs 13,452 crore in the bank accounts of farmers seeking loan waiver. But farmers who are facing the biggest ever crisis in their life say this amount is nothing to save them.
After three years of rule, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis is facing many serious challenges. Shiv Sena decision on January 24 to go solo in 2019 election came as a rude shock. The other challenges are Dalit uprising, NCP’s anti-BJP strategy, activities of aggressive right-wing Hindutva groups, etc.
Sharad Pawar led NCP has already started talks with Congress for a coalition. Aggressive Dalit uprising will be one of a major headache for Fadnavis in the coming days. As he is hailing from a Brahmin community it is easy to blame the Chief Minister as anti-Dalit. "It is politically convenient for them to dub the Fadnavis government casteist as the CM belongs to the Brahmin community," said a state BJP veteran, adding, "The NCP is playing the Maratha card to perpetuate the caste conflict in Maharashtra."Not only Sharad Pawar but under the leadership of Mevani, Dalit organizations are in a war mode.
Simultaneously, the Maratha community's demand that the anti-atrocities Act should be toned down is making Dalit organisations restive, according to political observers.
Arjun Dangle, a key Dalit strategist, and writer who heads the Dalit Jan Shakti Sanghatana was quick to rebut the BJP charge against Pawar. "In fact, Pawar was the first to issue an appeal for communal harmony and peace," he said.
BJP national president Amit Shah is reported to be closely monitoring the current situation in Mumbai.Mumbai, usually an epicenter of trade union activities in early 60s is slowly turning into a farmers hub from Saturday onwards with thousands of agricultural labourers entering the city giving much headache for authorities controlling the law and order.It is to be seen how the nearly 50,,000 crowd of farmers behave when they march to the city's capital on Monday morning to gherao the vidhan Sabha. It is learned that the party high command has asked Fadnavis to handle the law and order situation calmly. Maratha Maha Sangh is planning to revive its pro-reservation stir across the state next month.
As the challenges are growing manifold, is Fadnavis' clean image that is widely seen as a single most positive aspect is enough to save BJP's face in Maharashtra?