Although the Shiv Sena — it fielded over 100 candidates against the BJP — failed to bag a single seat, the party was ahead of BJP candidates in as many as 35 assembly constituencies, said the party mouthpiece Saamna.
The total Shiv Sena votes exceeded the NCP and the MIM tally, observed Saamna on Monday. The Bihar results were out on Sunday.
In an editorial, the Saamna, referring to the big-ticket BJP campaign in Bihar, said money and might of the state could not help the BJP win even 60 seats.
It said: “Humility is not only a politician’s ornament, it is also his armour. This is the Bihar assembly election message.”
It said the Bihar defeat would bring major changes in national politics and there would be changes within the BJP as well.
Praising Nitish Kumar of the JD(U), the Saamna said the RJD-JD(U) Mahagathabandhan swept the poll because of Kumar’s clean image and his administrative acumen.
It said: “Nitish Kumar did not speak lies during the poll campaign. As CM, he established the rule of law in Bihar, and won the trust of the people. He didn’t show false hopes to them. During the campaign Nitish Kumar maintained decency and decorum.”
Analysts said the Shiv Sena will roll up its sleeves against its ally back home in the state after the debacle of PM Narendra Modi’s party in Bihar.
Describing Kumar as the nation’s new hero, senior Shiv Sena politician Sanjay Raut said the Bihar election would alter the course of national politics.
He said that back in the state, the Shiv Sena would win 175 assembly seats of the total 228 if mid-term polls were held now.
Hidden between Raut’s lines was the message that the national mood was changing and that the BJP should stop taking its allies for granted, said Shiv Sena observers.
Senior BJP minister Girish Bapat made light of the strident note struck by the Shiv Sena. “There is no need to attach importance to Sanjay Raut’s remark on Bihar elections,” Bapat told mediapersons.
The Shiv Sena is now expected to step up its demand for a greater share of power in the state, especially the state-run corporations and statutory bodies.
Matoshree will also push its long-standing demand for a greater aid package from the Centre for the drought-stricken regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha and the scrapping of the Konkan’s Jaitapur nuclear power generation project, said sources.
Cooperation minister Chandrakant Patil said the state cabinet would be expanded by the end of November and state-run corporations would get new heads. Patil’s announcement is seen as a BJP move to placate the Shiv Sena.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called Nitish Kumar and congratulated him on the Mahagathabandhan impressive poll victory, said party sources.