Published On : Tue, Mar 22nd, 2016

What is Aney’s game plan?

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The news is out, Shreehari Aney, Advocate General of Maharashtra, handpicked by Devendra himself, has put in his resignation papers.

And typical of the milieu these days, the news was flashed not by Aney himself, or the CM, or by a newspaper or news channel – but on twitter, by PTI!

All important moves are only tweeted these days it seems, we have stopped being homo sapiens but become avian ( birds!)

Coming back to Shreehari, why did he do/say what he did in Jalna and precipitate matters? Just recall what he said.

“Marathwada worse affected than Vidarbha where it comes to neglect. It deserves statehood too”.

Marathwada, as we all know, is considered its sole fiefdom by the Shiv Sena. Naturally, it being Shivaji’s territory, who is the Sena’s mascot, diety, supreme inspiration – all rolled in one. So a Nagpur man, even if he is settled in Mumbai since a long time, going to their town Jalna and uttering such blasphemy against the state of Maharashtra was much worse than waving a red flag to a bull. It elicited the expected response… and this being Maharashtra Assembly session time, the noisy response was heard in both the houses the loudest!

The question that arises is – why did Shreehari do it? And why did he do it now, and why in Jalna?

Those who know Shreehari well, know that he is not given to impulsive behavior. He is a soft spoken person and a man of few words generally. He is an astute lawyer and knows he has to weigh his words carefully before uttering them. So why?

The reply is plain as the mirror. He did it deliberately and got the very response he hoped for… resigning from his post was a decision that had already been made in his mind, but he had to do it at the proper time as a perfect strategist. Like anyone who plays chess knows, you don’t sacrifice your Bishop or your Horse unless the gains are huge!

So what Shreehari gained from this? Again the answer is obvious – huge publicity! Pick up any newspaper of the state today – Aney is on the front page. If you watched news channels yesterday, he figured largely during prime time news. He has not gone away quietly into the night, no sir! He has made sure, that when he resigned everyone would know of it. Better still, the perception is that he has sacrificed a prestigious position in the cause of Vidarbha… and now Marathwada too.

I do NOT play chess, but I can see what the next step is going to be. Shreehari Aney is going to take a leap into politics full time. The time is ripe, the need is there. Remember, this author had written a piece some months back, called the ‘last Indian standing’?

Nagpur Today, in that story, had recounted how every advocate of Vidarbha had been swayed over and silenced in the name of Maharashtra? Remember, till he became CM who was the biggest proponent of separate Vidarbha? Of course Devendra Fadnavis! No one could match his oratory and his enthusiasm for this cause. (To be fair to him, he still has his heart in this cause and thought Vidarbha could benefit with him at the helm in Mumbai.) But sadly, in public perception, he was wooed away to Mumbai…

Same was the fate with many other politicians. The other Nagpur and Vidarbha leaders of the movement were a disarrayed lot, who further got scattered in the last two years. They are all mostly from the elite class… and naturally favored Modi and the BJP. They believed that BJP, which had made statehood for Vidarbha, a campaign promise, would deliver. But this did not fit into Modi’s scheme of things and since becoming PM he has refused to even meet with delegations of Vidarbhites who have gone to Delhi with much hope.

Nagpur Today has learnt from very credible sources that another delegation is going to Delhi on 31st March. Advocate Mukesh Samarth, President of V Connect will be there as also Nitin Ronghe, Tejinder Singh Renu, Naidu and others. Advocate Aney is expected to join them there.

This time too they are expecting to be given a cold shoulder by senior BJP leaders/ Ministers. In fact they are counting on it to make a big noise and use this to their advantage.

The various factions of the Vidarbha movement could then come together and might even float a new party for Vidarbha. Remember this is a proposal that had been made long back by leaders like Vinod Gudhade Patil to other Vidarbha ‘leaders’ like Banwarilal Purohit, Datta Meghe and Deshmukh. But it had been rejected.

The time is ripe for this move now with younger men and newer leaders. There is a vaccum and as we know Nature abhors vaccum.

So watch out for this new party. Whatever it is called, we suspect we know for sure who will head it!
Shreehari Aney of course. Go for it fighters for Vidarbha – and remember Nagpur Today spelled it our first!

– Sunita Mudaliar
Associate Editor