05 August, 2021

The Emperor's New Thorns

Vilasrao Deshmukh's chief ministerial path has many hurdles

The Emperor's New Thorns

For Bal Thackeray, Maharashtra's new chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is khaandaani (part of the Sena family). The reference is obvious. Deshmukh had contested the legislative council elections as a Congress rebel with Shiv Sena-bjp support during Narasimha Rao's prime ministership.

However, it was not very long ago that the Sena chief was frothing at the mouth, the provocation being a comment by Deshmukh, who then was a defeated mla trying to return to the Congress. Deshmukh had dared to remind the Sena chief that his government was three-legged, the third leg being the Congress rebels whose withdrawal could lead to its collapse.

It is a measure of Vilasrao's suitability as chief minister of Maharashtra that he should so completely charm Thackeray. But then, Thackeray might also be afraid that Vilasrao could just summon the required toughness to implement the Srikrishna Commission recommendations. His gestures, therefore, can also be read as an attempt to get on the right side of the new CM, even as he threatens mayhem if he were to be...

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