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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Maharashtra's political theatre is 'damaging' Indian politics  (อ่าน 674 ครั้ง)

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Maharashtra's political theatre is 'damaging' Indian politics
« เมื่อ: 26/11/19, 16:19:52 »
India's Supreme Court has ordered a floor test in Maharashtra assembly on Wednesday, capping an extraordinary few days in the state. What does this tell us about Indian politics?

British publisher Ernest Benn once said politics was the "art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying unsuitable remedies".

Going by what is happening in Maharashtra, Benn's biting aphorism could apply both คาสิโน to the politics and institutions in the world's biggest democracy.

A fractious impasse over forming a government after closely-fought state elections in India's richest state - and home to Mumbai, its financial capital - has now snowballed into an unsavoury spectacle of competitive politics, sometimes bordering on the absurd.

The elections to the 288-seat state assembly were not unexceptional. The vote had split four ways. Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP emerged as the single largest party (105 seats); and its long-time ally, Shiv Sena, (56 seats) came in as the second largest. The two main opposition parties - the regional Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress - picked up less than 100 seats between them.

Clearly, the BJP-Sena were comfortably expected to form the government. Except, things unravelled very quickly and the Sena walked out of the alliance after fighting over the spoils of power.

What followed was a sensational counter-alliance against the BJP making a power bid, a split in an influential political family, alleged defections and attempts to poach rival lawmakers, corralled in resorts by their skittish parties.

Image copyrightAFP
Image caption
The BJP stitched up an alliance with a rival in an early morning political coup
An early morning political coup followed by a hasty swearing in of a BJP-led government and appeals in the Supreme Court for a speedy floor test completed this political soap opera. News networks who have reduced politics to Bollywood-like entertainment are gleefully crowing that the "movie isn't finished yet".

Political alliances breaking up after elections are not uncommon. Post-election alliances to gain sagame power are often time consuming. A week is a long time in politics, and a month - as in the case of Maharashtra - more so, and the impatience of the party with most seats in trying to cobble together a governing alliance is also not unknown.

What, many believe, is surprising this time is the way the governor of a state - whose job is to designate the chief minister - hastily swore-in the BJP with a new-found ally, who had defected from the opposition camp. (The government was sworn in early on Saturday morning.)