Three ideologically divergent allies have chalked out a Common minimum programme
GN Bureau | November 29, 2019
Maharashtra finally has a government in place that has enough numbers, but its longevity may be tested time and again, given the differing ideological commitments of the three parties that make it up.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Thursday evening took oath as chief minister at Shivaji Park in a well-attended event, becoming the first Shiv Sainak to hold the state’s top post. His government is supported by NCP and the Congress, and two leaders of each party were sworn in as cabinet ministers.
The ruling alliance has announced a common minimum programme (CMP) which will guide their governance goals. However, it remains to be seen for how long they will be able to abide to it.
The NCP-Congress have ensured that the CMP promises to uphold “secular values”. The Sena is not fond of the term and once even demanded its removal from the preamble of the constitution. After severing ties with the BJP and aligning with the two ‘secular’ parties, it has been forced to make this concession. Still, how its commitment plays out amid evolving circumstances remains to be seen.
The four-page CMP, issued just ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, also promises immediate loan waiver to Maharashtra’s farmers, a law to ensure 80 percent reservation in private sector jobs for locals, filling up state government vacancies immediately, Re 1 heath clinics in all talukas, and affordable meals to people on the move with a Rs 10 thali.
Sticking to the letter – and more importantly the spirit – of their common programme will require what has come to be known as ‘coalition dharma’ – an attitude of accommodation, of give and take.
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