I know, it’s just a hypothesis and a possibly far-fetched one but I would like to walk you through the reasoning behind it, which is highly intriguing whether the hypothesis itself is true or not.
It goes something like this: Former Foreign Minister Nando Bodha’s resignation was orchestrated by the MSM itself as a last act of despair to break up the united opposition before parliament resumes and in preparation for the next election. The arguments that credit this thesis – which I repeat hovers close to the implausible – is the timing. It occurs just before parliament is scheduled to sit again and a few months before the municipal elections that the opposition parties had agreed to face as one alliance.
Bodha’s resignation making the headlines also immediately took the pressure off the prime minister. Bodha is big news, so who cares about Angus Road, the state of our finances, the interested donations or unaffordable loans that are propping up the country or how we will pay back?
More importantly, Bodha’s exit from the government was a masterstroke in breaking up the opposition’s momentum – called entente. Of course, nobody is naïve enough to think that such a hotchpotch of personalities and disproportionate egos were ever going to find a formula to face the elections together but as far as keeping the government on its toes, never before in the history of this country had we seen such a united opposition speaking as one voice and coordinating its actions against a government that – everyone agrees – has broken all records when it comes to corruption, favouritism, bad governance, lack of transparency, clientelism, nepotism, irresponsibility and waste of public funds.
Until Bodha announced his resignation! Normally, one minister resigning has little incidence on a government that still has and will continue to have a majority in parliament. No one expects those who are drawing a scrumptious salary while spending their time taking selfies on a boat to give up all that to break up the government. No, Sir, not now. A thousand more Kistnens can be assassinated and more billions of our rupees dilapidated without the perpetual grin on their faces being wiped off. Still, a resignation normally weakens the government and reinforces the opposition.
But Bodha is no ordinary member. He belongs to the right community and, though he was not a particularly performing minister, namely in the Ministry of Infrastructure, and though he does come with a baggage of dirty linen that will begin to be aired as soon as he starts taking more space on the political arena, he is intelligent, educated, a good orator and boasts decades of experience in politics. He is also young – at least by the new definition of youth vs. dinosaurs which is highly selective. Also, though he is experienced and has made a name for himself, he does not fall in the category of dynasties. His lack of charisma is well compensated for by his calm nature and modesty.
Bodha forming a new party immediately changes the dynamics in the opposition. He has three more years at least to consolidate his party and attract the MMM and/or other parties into an alliance of the usual type. That prospect alone has messed up all the opposition plans. Now, the united opposition stumbles at the first hurdle. An MP brags about the force that his party represents and the reaction is immediate. What this means eventually is that the votes will be split along many lines. The MSM will retain a percentage of its voters and – if the hypothesis is true – Bodha may waltz back into parliament to form a postelectoral alliance with the… MSM. Whether he also sticks with his preelectoral allies or not will depend on the arithmetic of the votes! We are in the political arena, after all, not in a place of worship.
Think about this: Bodha’s criticism of his former party, particularly of its leader, has been very mild and his ‘revelations’ disclosed absolutely nothing that we did not know. His comments are more enigmatic than revealing. And his former party returned the favour. They did not criticise him vehemently either. Even Anerood Jugnauth’s outburst was measured and not terribly vulgar, considering the uncouth character. It’s as if there was a pact not to finish off each other.
The above hypothesis is naturally overstretched. One must concede, however, that it is absolutely ingenious. If the Jugnauths didn’t think about orchestrating it, they should have.