In a stinging attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after its rout in the Delhi assembly polls, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday said the saffron party has been turned into "dirt" by the broom-wielding AAP and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the poor show.
A day after party chief Uddhav Thackeray's criticism of Modi, the Sena also said it's a lesson for BJP that elections cannot be won merely on the back of poll promises and speeches.
"The BJP, which won a resounding majority in the Lok Sabha elections has been turned into 'dirt' by the 'broom- wielding' Aam Aadmi Party. BJP leaders do not even need fingers to count the number of seats they won. Putting the blame of defeat on Kiran Bedi isn't right," Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"Elections are not merely won on the back of speeches and poll promises. This election has brought to the fore unrest within the party. Amit Shah failed to cast his magic on people and using Modi as the final weapon too failed to yield results," the BJP ally in Maharashtra said.
The Sena that the BJP should make it clear that who would shoulder the responsibility of the party's defeat.
"The entire election campaign was run in the name of Modi. Anna Hazare said this is Modi's defeat. We too feel the same. The way the party attributed its success in other states to Modi, they should do the same for Delhi," Sena said.
The Uddhav-led party questioned if this is the beginning of a new era in national politics and mocked that BJP's fall is the result of the negative campaigning led by Modi and his colleagues.
"Are the Delhi results a start of a new era in politics? Why did people desert the BJP? Unemployment rate has not gone down, inflation is persistent, homeless haven't got homes and poll promises haven't been fulfilled," it said.
"Along with Modi, all BJP leaders mocked at (Congress vice-president) Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal in their speeches. Ultimately, the BJP had to bear the consequences of this negative campaign," it added.
Sena said even inviting Barack Obama before the elections proved futile.
The uneasy ties between the saffron allies in Maharashtra took an unexpected hit for the worse on Tuesday, following the clean sweep of the AAP.
The Sena president seized the opportunity of BJP's debacle in Delhi to take potshots at it, even terming the verdict as against Modi.
A stung BJP reacted by asking Sena to step out of state government before criticising the Prime Minister.
The tussle started on the sidelines of a function in Mumbai when a beaming Uddhav congratulated people of Delhi for making their choice independent of aggressive publicity campaigns and strategies ahead of the polls.
"Delhi' s election result is a win of democracy. It has been proven that despite the strategies and pressures, people thought Kejriwal is the best. This is a lesson that people in the country are restless and cannot be taken for granted. It also proved that a tsunami is greater than a wave," he said.
He also agreed with social activist Anna Hazare’s view that the Delhi victory was a verdict against Modi. "One will have to agree with it.. as everyone was referring to Modi wave earlier," he said when asked whether he agreed with Hazare’s opinion.
BJP legislator and Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar said, "PM Modi is our topmost and senior most leader, so if Sena wants to criticise him, then they should quit the government first. They cannot criticise the PM while continuing to share power. That is the sentiment of our party workers.