15 May, 2021

Pawar And Glory

The Maratha strongman bounces back but can he get the top job?

Pawar And Glory

THIS was the city where saffron flags flooded street corners, and hard-line Hindutva found a place in people's hearts. It was the city which gave the men in saffron 33 out of 34 seats in the last assembly election and wrote the agenda for change in Maharashtra. Bombay turned Mumbai and even a year ago in civic elections, saffron kept its colour. The Congress was thrown out of Mumbai's rich municipal corporation, and most of the state followed suit. A few warning signals that things may not be going the same way were misconstrued, and nobody, not even the victors, predicted such a triumphant return of the Congress.

In the run-up to the elections, the Congress was already beginning to get ambitious. The party had reserved all the major maidans in the city for Sonia Gandhi's election rally, but finally settled for the biggest of them all: Shivaji Park. Only a party that can muster a crowd of about two lakh chooses Shivaji Park. The last time the Congress managed such numbers and held a rally in Shivaji Park was December 1984. The rally was...

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