By not denying his meeting with NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the de facto chief of BJP, has yet again dropped hints that it has not given up on “Operation Lotus’’ in Maharashtra. At the same time, he has created suspicion among Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) partners about Pawar’s next move. Shah knows that by holding parleys with Pawar, it will make Opposition parties think twice of forming a front under Pawar’s leadership to take on Modi. Political analysts say the idea is to sow the seeds of suspicion that Pawar cannot be trusted. Shah’s timing seems to be perfect. Currently, there is a mistrust between the three MVA partners — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — after the Ambani bomb scare conspiracy came to light. This incident has opened the Pandora’s Box with Maratha strongman trying to defend Home Minister Anil Deshmukh over the Rs 100 crore hafta charges levelled against Deshmukh by the former Police Commissioner, Parambir Singh. On another front, the Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis who has rocked the MVA government with his explosive expose is now getting ready to fire more salvos ahead of the BMC elections slated for 2022. BJP has launched MissionMumbai 2022 with a resolve to elect its own party mayor and thereby end Shiv Sena’s dream run. Here it is toying with the idea of entering into an alliance with Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena so as to steal Sena’s Marathi Manoos plank and wrest BMC. But, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seems to be leaving no stones unturned to ensure that BMC, the country’s richest municipal body stays in Sena’s fold.