The Shiv Sena, the BJP’s oldest ally, has made it clear that it won’t allow the party to forget the Bihar drubbing anytime soon. A day after it said the debacle was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s responsibility, it continued to rub salt on BJP’s injury.
“You can fool someone only once. Money power and muscle power can make you win just once,” the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
The editorial hailed Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s victory and repeatedly dubbed the BJP’s effort as one riding on money power and arrogance. The Saamana said that those whose feet were not firmly on the ground had to ‘bite the dust’.
Invoking the Delhi assembly poll results early this year, the editorial said, “Those who took the Delhi poll results casually will now have to sit up and take the Bihar results seriously.” Heaping praise on Modi’s arch rival, Nitish, the Sena said that a key reason driving his victory was his humility. But in its praise was also a stinging critique of the BJP’s campaign.
“Kumar displayed simplicity and humility and never crossed the lines of dignity and decorum. He did not show false dreams, nor did he make lofty announcements. He did not make a show of money and muscle power.”
The editorial was also peppered with mocking references to BJP chief Amit Shah, calling him ‘Chanakya’. “Modi had credited his Lok Sabha victory to Amit Shah. Despite being camped in Bihar, this ‘Chanakya’ couldn’t even manage to retain the 91 seats that the BJP held in the outgoing assembly,” the piece said.
Echoing the stance taken by many in the opposition, the Sena said that the Bihar polls would have ramifications over national politics. “There will definitely be an impact on national politics. Politics is in the blood and soil of Bihar. Remember that Jaiprakash Narayan, who dislodged Indira Gandhi, also emerged from Bihar. Even the BJP will see some internal churning after this.”
The Sena’s edit also had a veiled warning in store for the BJP-led government in Maharashtra. “Bihar’s message is clear-if assembly polls were to be held here today, the Sena would come to power single-handedly. We have our feet firmly on the ground, those who didn’t have fallen.”