What can you compare Maharashtra politics with? Tirumala Ghat Roads. The politics in the state appear to have so many twists and turns that one has simply lost count. First BJP's trusted ally Shiv Sena deserted the TDP. Secondly, the Shiv Sena joined hands with its bitterest foe the Congress. Then the Governor moved with alacrity to impose president's rule in the state. Then the three non-BJP parties came together to stake the claims to form the government. Suddenly, there was another twist as NCP's Ajit Pawar defected and helped the BJP to form the government. But, the story is not over yet. The wily old war horse, Sharad Pawar, ensured that all his MLAs stayed with him and gave the BJP anxious moments. The political master stroke, however, is the show of strength in the hotel on Monday night. By parading 162 MLAs, the opposition has virtually closed all options to the BJP.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court added another twist when it said that the vote of confidence should be held on Wednesday before 5 PM. To add to the discomfiture of the BJP, the vote will be held by the raise of hands and not through secret ballot. This has virtually sealed the fate of the BJP, which is hoping for defections in the secret ballot. The only way out now for the BJP is to ensure that at least 30 MLAs from the opposition camp abstain from the elections. Can the BJP do it?
For now, it appears that Sharad Pawar is the winner in the battle of wits against young but equally wily Devendra Fadnavis. But, this being Maharashtra, you can never say. There could be another sudden twist in the tale before Wednesday evening. Watchout!! The last word is not said yet on Maharashtra.