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Gujarat poll results a warning sign for BJP in Maharashtra, says Shiv Sena

Although the BJP would form the government in Gujarat, the mood of the people is clear, said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut

mumbai Updated: Dec 19, 2017 10:16 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Gujarat polls,Shiv Sena
Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s comments came as the Congress’ seat tally increased(HT FILE)

As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gets ready to form a government in Gujarat for the sixth consecutive time, ally Shiv Sena said since the BJP did not receive the victory it expected, the results were a “warning sign” that people are not happy with them in Gujarat.

It also continued to laud Congress president Rahul Gandhi for leading his party “without bothering about the results”. Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s comments came as the Congress’ seat tally increased. Though the BJP would form the government in Gujarat, the mood of the people is clear, Raut said. “Though BJP won the elections, they did not achieve their target of 150 seats. Going by the mandate, it is now clear that the mood in Gujarat today is the mood of the country, as it was Gujarat which showed the path of victory [to the BJP],” Raut told HT. He added that the BJP came to power in 2014 based on the ‘Gujarat model’, but now the wave seems to have receded.

The Sena contested 41 seats in the Gujarat Assembly polls, but failed to open its account in the neighbouring state. However, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who on Saturday disagreed with the exit polls predicting a clear victory for the BJP, did not comment on the party’s loss on Monday. Thackeray had said that there is a “big difference between the atmosphere prevalent in Gujarat and the predictions of exit polls” and that the “final results will have to be accepted by everyone”.

READ: Small victory margin in Gujarat elections may spell big trouble for BJP in Maharashtra

Raut defended the poor performance of his party while saying, “It was always going to be a Congress-BJP contest in Gujarat. However, what we have to look at is that the result is a warning sign for the BJP going ahead in to the 2019 [Lok Sabha] elections.” Raut also praised Gandhi and said the polls have given a “new leader” to the country.

On Monday, the Sena also continued to heap praises on Gandhi in its mouthpiece Saamana. In an editorial, the party said. “Whatever be the result of the Gujarat election, the country has seen the rise of a new Rahul Gandhi. He has accepted responsibility as Congress president at a crucial stage. There should be no objection in wishing him all the best…Let him decide if he wishes to take the Congress party to the pinnacle of success or down the pit.”

In a veiled attack at the BJP, the editorial said: “Are those who think that nothing happened in the country in the previous 60 years and that the country has progressed only in the past three years humans or epitome of foolishness?”

The editorial added that with the entry of Gandhi in the poll arena, the “faces of bigwigs [in the BJP] were turning black with the fear of defeat”.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 00:12 IST