Will Maha Alliance Walk the Talk on its Secular, All-inclusive Agenda?

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Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray takes oath as 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra, at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. — PTI

One can expect that the Maha alliance will have representation of all sections, including the Muslims, in the government.

Caravan News

MUMBAI — Hours before the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance government was administered oath of office in Mumbai Thursday evening, the Maha Vikas Aghadi or coalition of the three parties announced a “secular, all-inclusive” Common Minimum Programme (CMP) to run the government.

Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena took oath as Chief Minister along with six politicians – two each from Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress – as the ministers. They are Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and Subash Desai, NCP’s Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut. The cabinet will be expanded in the coming days as the alliance has a clear majority in the 288-member Assembly.

The four-page CMP of the alliance has a preamble or the guiding principle for this government. It reads: “The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution. On contentious issues of national importance as well of state importance especially having repercussions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus.”

Besides addressing the burning issues of the farmers like loans, unemployment problems, urban roads and housing, the CMP has a section on Social Justice and talks about minority also.

“The Government shall adopt various schemes to eliminate the social, educational and economic backwardness of the minority community and implement constitutional safeguards for its security welfare in letter and spirit,” reads the document of governance.

The CMP was announced at a joint press conference of Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde, NCP’s Jayant Patil and Nawab Malik and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat.

Muslim MLAs in Maharashtra Assembly 2019

Muslim MLA

Party

Constituency

Abdul Sattar Abdul Nabi

Shiv Sena

Sillod

Hasan Mushrif

NCP

Kagal

Nawab Malik

NCP

Anushakti Nagar

Zeeshan Baba Siddique

Congress

Vandre East

Aslam Sheikh

Congress

Malad (West)

Amin Patel

Congress

Mumbadevi

Abu Asim Azmi

SP

Mankhud Shivaji Nagar

Rais Kasam Shaikh

SP

Bhiwandi East

Mohammed Ismail Abdul Khalique

AIMIM

Malegaon (Central)

Shah Faruk Anwar

AIMIM

Dhule City

Now one can expect that the alliance will have representation of all sections, including the minority community, in the government.

Fortunately, all the three partners have one or more Muslim MLA in their folds.

In the state Assembly elections whose results were announced last month, 10 Muslim candidates were elected to the 288-member House – six of them are from the alliance. Samajwadi Party, which has formally supported the Shiv Sena-led alliance, also has two Muslim MLAs while the other two are from AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi.

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