Vidarbha is the latest to fall to BJP's "con for vote" schemes.
BJP Maharashtra has been campaigning with a promise of a separate state for Vidarbha if it comes to power. Given a decimated Congress and Shiv Sena and NCP both adamantly opposed to any division of Maharashtra, there were no points for guessing who would get votes with such a statement in a place where the feeling of being wronged by the state government is very strong with the ongoing farmer suicides and irrigation scam and complete disinterest in fixing either beyond lip service.
While people of Vidarbha may have wanted a separate state, and while that is not necessarily a bad idea; BJP's voters in Maharshtra have a strong regional pride and would not appreciate division of the state. Enter the King of Spin. Narendra Modi very conveniently made a strong and categoric statement of an undivided Maharashtra with regard to separating Mumbai from Maharashtra - which no one was actually saying anything about.
“As long as I am sitting in Delhi, I assure you that no power can divide Maharashtra. Some people are spreading rumors that BJP will sever Mumbai from Maharashtra. It’s a lie. Maharashtra is incomplete without Mumbai.”
Within hours of Modi providing this reassurance to the whole of Maharashtra (so that they could safely vote for BJP - which they wouldn't, if BJP was out to break Maharashtra), local BJP leaders in Vidarbha pretend to be appropriately upset and assure their voters that Modi did not mean Vidarbha - he was speaking about Mumbai (with no mention of who actually was claiming to separate Mumbai) and that he remained committed to Vidarbha as a separate state.
“Prime Minister did not rule out Vidarbha state. He was only countering the propaganda of severing Mumbai from Maharashtra. No one can snatch Mumbai from Maharashtra but he knows our stand on small states. He has always favored it and it will come in front of everyone at an appropriate time,”
The very first sentence from this quote by Dev Fadnavis - BJP Maharashtra leader and contesting from Vidarbha himself - is a flat out lie. "I assure you that no power can divide Maharashtra" is fairly categoric in ruling out any division including Vidarbha. Regardless, this was the con sold to the people of Vidarbha, which got challenged by other political parties, but by and large ignored by most of the Maharashtrian population. I asked half a dozen people on whim, and they were categoric that they would NOT vote for BJP at the cost of Vidarbha. And BJP knows this. This clarification of Vidarbha being the exception to an undivided Maharashtra (pretty massive exception, yes?) was not made outside Vidarbha in any prominent manner.
Still, a generous person could explain this away as a communication gap. We could believe that BJP Maharashtra leader actually had no idea of what Modi was going to say in Maharashtra in their support. Regardless, BJP is extremely unlikely to create Vidarbha and the mathematics of it cannot have been unknown to anyone promising Vidarbha a separate statehood. Here is why.
- BJP does not have a simple majority, and any ally they find is unlikey to support a separate Vidarbha.
- With 44 out of 62 seats in Vidarbha, a Maharashtra without Vidarbha would leave BJP very far away from the numbers to make a government.
The second could be called BJP's helplessness in spite of its intention, except - BJP would be unlikely to get numbers allowing them to split Maharashtra promising to separate Vidarbha anyway - UNLESS THIS DECEPTION WAS WELL PLANNED.
BJP is unlikely to give up control over Maharashtra just to keep an election promise (they have broken promises for far less stakes). BJP is also unlikely to win any election if they collapse for lack of numbers because they split the state. Maharashtra and its money would be out of reach till people drifted into memory loss.
So this cannot be an accidental thing.
Wait. It gets worse. It can be argued that as long as Vidarbha does well, whether it is a separate state is not such an issue. Fix Irrigation scam, develop irrigation so that people thrive, answer their serious problems around GM seeds and health and they won't need a separate state to be heard. Except on the other side of the politician-business cartel across from NCP were BJP's cronies. So yeah, it is going to be a long wait before BJP stops making an inconclusive drama over NCP corruption and moves to actually getting everyone involved in that racket punished.
And you can't fool the people all the time. When allowing GM food trials, BJP had not cared about the support of SSS that it has exploited on the way to power, but people see how decisions are made and in whose interest. Of the 122 seats BJP has in Maharashtra, 44 are from Vidarbha which was promised separate statehood BJP would not deliver, 26 are poached candidates belonging to other parties with strong bases they hadn't built by acting like BJP. Mumbai and Thane account for 24 seats and Pune accounts for 8. How much exactly did the Modi wave sweep non-metro, non-poached, non-conned Maharashtra? 20 seats?
Now that BJP has Vidarbha's votes, how many of you readers think it is going to make the separate state and collapse its numbers for the Maharashtra government?
And thus, the suicide capital of the country was exploited for its frustration as well and all that it is going to get now that elections are over is THENGA.
Or in other words, the next entity BJP is going to stab in the back after courting for votes or power is Vidarbha.
Note: Bhakts, it is easy to prove me wrong. I'll be wrong automatically when you create the Vidarbha state or punish not just your political rivals in scams, but the whole cartels (who are also your cronies) bleeding those voters you conned into voting for you. No further trolling needed, if the party is honest about its promises, it will deliver and I will be proved to be wrong.