02 March, 2021

Felled By His Own Folks

Why the Maharashtra CM is a sad man after the BMC defeat

Amit Haralkar
Felled By His Own Folks

Prithviraj Chavan is a good man, sincere in intent, technocratic and rational in approach, determined to make a difference, resolute in the face of opposition and untainted by the blot of corruption. He should have been an election strategist’s dream-come-true politician. Yet he cut a sorry and lonely figure last week as results to Maharashtra’s local bodies—ten municipal corporations, 27 zilla parishads and 305 panchayat samitis—trickled in; the Congress, led by its chief minister, had fared worse than its nearest rival, the Shiv Sena, and part-ally-part-rival, the Nationalist Congress Party.

A broad brush-stroke of the first state-wide polls after the anti-corruption movements shows that the Congress, which had triumphed in the 2009 general and state assembly elections, has suffered a setback. Urban Maharashtra largely voted for the Sena or the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. The story of the Congress slide, and that of Chavan as politician, is best told through Mumbai.

Chavan had made it his ambition to...

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