Stunned by his party's third consecutive defeat at the hustings, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Friday blamed the people of Maharashtra for "pushing the state back into hell" by re-electing the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine.
In an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, which expressed the party's shock and anguish over its rout in the 2009 assembly polls, the Sena chief and the newspaper's editor wondered what were the great achievements of the Democratic Front government in the past 10 years that made people to vote for it.
"There was corruption, load-shedding, Maoist terror which killed policemen, suicides of thousands of farmers, Mumbai terror attacks, etc," Thackeray noted in the editorial.
The results of the assembly elections held Oct 13 gave the Congress 82 seats and the NCP 62 -- totalling 144 in the 288-member assembly. The opposition alliance got a drubbing with only 90 seats, the Shiv Sena getting 44 and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 46. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) got 13 seats.
Thackeray blamed the people for the defeat of the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saffron alliance and for bringing back a "naalayak" (useless) government.
Comparing the latest elections to the Mahabharata, in which truth had triumphed, Thackeray said the only difference was that in this electoral Mahabharat the Kauravas (untruth) had emerged victorious.
"If the people re-elect the Narakasura for the third consecutive time, what can we say," he said.
He hit out at the Congress for adopting the old British policy of divide and rule and said the party had split Marathi votes to capture power.
It did not spare even the independents, rebels and the Third Front who were hoping to make it big in case of a hung assembly, the editorial said. In many cases, it seemed to aid the defeat of good candidates, with the hope that it would benefit in the ensuing "horse-trading".
"Unfortunately for them, since the Congress-NCP has secured a clear majority, the horses (of this lot of independents, rebels, etc) shall remain in the stables," Thackeray pointed out sarcastically.
He even ticked off Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athavale, who led the 19-party Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF). Many of the parties could not win a single seat in the Oct 13 elections.