The Shiv Sena said on Monday that the BJP’s rout in Bihar would cause an upheaval within that party and reiterated that the results “could change the course of national politics”.
“The Bihar outcome would impact national politics and also create an upheaval within the BJP,” the Sena mouthpiece Saamna said in an editorial, a day after the Grand Alliance triumphed in Bihar’s assembly polls.
The Shiv Sena is a junior ally to the BJP in the Maharashtra government but relations between the two parties have been tense for months.
The editorial said there would have to be introspection as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s downfall came just one-and-a-half years after the Lok Sabha victory that brought it to power nationally.
The Sena said the Bihar mandate was reminiscent of the 2014 Maharashtra assembly polls when the BJP brass led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in the campaign even as the BJP and the Sena contested separately.
Despite everything, the Sena secured 63 seats, it pointed out.
“You can win one election with money and government power, you can fool people once…
“Modi’s trusted man and architect of the BJP Lok Sabha victory, Amit Shah, had to bite the dust in the Bihar elections,” the Sena said.
All this was possible because JD-U leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar “did not make tall or false claims”, it said, in an obvious reference to Modi’s Lok Sabha election promises.
Nitish Kumar, the Sena said, carried the people with him. And the people of Bihar voted for his honesty.
“Those who took Bihar elections for granted, better take the outcome seriously,” the Sena warned in the stinging editorial.
Commending Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Lalu Prasad for their victory, the Saamna took a jibe at the BJP for its premature celebrations in New Delhi and Patna on Sunday before the results became known.
The BJP, which held 91 seats in the outgoing house, was reduced to less than 60 along with its allies, but Lalu Prasad, accused by BJP of hoisting “jungle raj and corruption” bagged the largest number of seats.
Similarly, the Congress – whose vice president Rahul Gandhi who was labelled a ‘pappu’ (simpleton) – bagged 27 seats.
On its part, the Shiv Sena, which contested the Bihar elections independently, secured more votes than the Nationalist Congress Party and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
This, it said, “is a victory of sorts for us”.
“The future belongs to Shiv Sena… If elections are held in Maharashtra tomorrow, we shall win hands down,” it said, throwing a gauntlet at ally BJP.