Flood in Assam and Maharashtra
50 lakh people have been affected by floods in Assam in 32 districts.
In 24 hours, 7 people have died and overall toll exceeds 100. 1 lakh hectare crop area damaged because of flooding and 3 lakh people are surviving in relief camps. Worst affected is Silchar.
Meanwhile, there are MLAs who arrived in Assam from Gujarat, and not to give relief to people, but to rescue themselves.
It is said that it’s Operation Lotus in action, to sink the Maharashtra government. Under full protection from Gujarat Police, they reached Guwahati.
On one hand, people in Assam are affected by flood, and then on the other hand, the Maharashtra government is sinking in Maharashtra.
What is happening in Assam and Maharashtra? Let’s learn about it.
Eknath Shinde, one of the integral members of Shiv Sena claimed to be having support of 40 MLAs. He clarified that he doesn’t want to join any other party, and just follow Bala Saheb’s footsteps. He received support of 46 MLAs of which 37 belong to Shiv Sena. Sanjay Raut wondered if Shinde was kidnapped or went sight-seeing.
Later on Shinde said that they are on tourism visit in Assam, a BJP ruled state. Is there no other destination in the entire country where they can go for holidaying in? What will the impact of this political move?
Guests in Assam are always welcome, and welcomed they were by the Chief Minister himself, as he was staying in the same hotel. Many say it was just a coincidence. Hope that it was a coincidence because when your state is immensely affected by flood, hope you are not motivated by politics in this time! One independent MLA Bacchu Kadu says, “We will return only after change in power.” Their only problem is NCP and Congress being in power. Now, who could be behind this power-play?
One MLA Nitin Deshmukh claimed, Gujarat police forcefully admitted him in hospital despite having no health issue. Kailash Patil, another MLA escaped when taken to Gujarat. Clearly, they need the number 37 desperately or else resign as MLAs.
Northeast is flood prone, and flood has become an annual event for us here, unfortunately. Assam received 62% above normal pre-monsoon rain between the months of March and May this year. Are disaster prevention strategies being employed? It may take 943 years to prevent floods in Assam at the rate they are done. What matters to us more, political turmoil or our livelihood?
Floods have damaged over 1500-3000 homes and 60,000 animals washed away. Southern Assam’s biggest city Silchar is drowned completely. Residents and experts are shocked at an unprecedented geographical spread of the wave this year. Apart from an excessive rainfall, breach in the embankment of river is partly responsible. Water has climbed dangerous levels. NDRF teams were deployed by centre from Bhubaneswar. Rescuing so many people wasn’t easy.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma went to several relief camps to assess the situation. Other districts await relief still. Anti-poaching camps at UNESCO world heritage Kaziranga National Park inundated due to floods. A separate team will be sent by centre to analyse situation, assess the damage in Assam and Meghalaya.
In Maharashtra too there is flood, flood caused by the tears of supporters who were betrayed by their elected MLAs. What will happen to politics of Maharashtra – dissolution or split? Developments are happening as we see. One thing is certain in the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra – Sanjay Raut, top Shiv Sena leader, said: ‘Power is fleeting’. Eknath Shinde must acquire support of 37 MLAs, that is 2/3 support, to be immune from anti-defection law. Rebel Shinde says that he has 46 MLA’s support. Uddhav Thackeray advised Eknath Shinde to reconsider his decision. Shinde wants Sena to ally with BJP again. That’d mean Uddhav Thackeray must give up on his chair, and welcome Fadnavis as CM. Which is why they could not align before.
First response to the crisis was immediate meeting of all MLAs. Shinde probably was involved in cross-voting that cost him one Rajya Sabha seat. BJP won 5 seats on expectation of 4 (one was bonus). After winning the seat in Rajya Sabha, BJP will have to acquire 37 MLAs for power, as BJP already has 106 MLAs. Anything is possible. To prevent that from happening, Shiv Sena will have to convince rebel MLAs. Nitin Deshmukh granted his support, saying he was kidnapped, in a video. Uddhav Thackeray is also Covid19 positive now, attending meetings virtually. Cabinet ministers were missing from meeting, so it’s getting worse for MVA and Shiv Sena.
This is not new as Maharashtra is also prone to flooding, of political nature. Shiv Sena party has been deserted before, but never in this magnitude. Eknath Shinde is #2 and experienced, he has vast control over MLAs, which is not a good news for Shiv Sena.
Despite his claim that Shiv Sena still has 37 MLAs plus more independents, even if Uddhav Thackeray manages to save the current government, the image has been dented – not befitting for his own political career. Another thing is, in 2019 when MVA government formed, credit went to Sharad Pawar for coalition. But now Sharad Pawar is saying this is Shiv Sena’s internal matter. He has solved such crisis before, so is he unable to prevent this one? Previously, Pawar had warned Uddhav of growing anxiety within Sena and coalition.
So, lacklustre administration is probably the main reason why MLAs are rebelling. Uddhav Thackeray probably forgot about the coalition and acted bureaucratically. Shiv Sena’s attitude towards the Modi government didn’t help either. Uddhav Thackeray government’s relationship with the central Government wasn’t working. Centre then launched investigations on their ministers, and two ministers are in jail. The third is being interrogated by ED. Besides, Aditya Thackeray’s grooming as next general leader perhaps did not sit well with Shinde.
What is the moral of the story for the citizens?
The MLAs are probably selling themselves for 30-40 crores. In Jaspal Bhatti era, this was a much lower price. Assam or any other states, politicians don’t care about people drowning anywhere. They care about power the most. On one hand, people of Assam are struggling amidst this worsening flood, and on the other hand, rebel politicians are taking shelter here. Only numbers matter in politics. Eknath Shinde claims to have the required number. Time will tell if that is true.
Two losers in this story – first, Uddhav Thackeray, who thought he was invincible, in a coalition. His political stature is now dented. Second is the public, of Assam, of Maharashtra and elsewhere. They keep expecting more from politicians only to disappointed.
Mahabahu.com is an Online Magazine with collection of premium Assamese and English articles and posts with cultural base and modern thinking. You can send your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com ( For Assamese article, Unicode font is necessary)