Bypoll results a shock: Sena

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray during a programme at Shiv Sena Bhawan in Mumbai on Sept 7, 2014. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)The Shiv Sena Wednesday described the Sep 13 bypoll results as an “unexpected shock and surprise” and said there are lessons to be learnt from it for the forthcoming Maharashtra assembly elections.

“Don’t take the voters for granted… They are very intelligent. Keep your feet on the ground and don’t indulge in sword-fights from the air… Otherwise, the people will skin you,” the party said in an oblique reference to ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in an edit in the party organ ‘Saamana’.

The edit came a day after the BJP suffered a setback in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan bypolls.

“This was entirely unexpected, a shock and a surprise for all,” said the editorial.

The Sena said that for the second time in two months, first in Bihar and now in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the BJP has suffered shocking reverses, and the surprise beneficiaries have been the Congress and the Samajwadi Party.

“It is a mystery – the voters’ mind,” the edit admitted.

In the Lok Sabha polls last May, the BJP secured 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh for which credit went to Amit Shah, who later took over as the party president. But the results of the recent bypolls tell a different story.

Even in Rajasthan, where the Congress was completely buried, it is now sprouting as it managed to grab three assembly seats “in Modi’s Gujarat, which was entirely unexpected”, the editorial said.

In fact, in Uttar Pradesh, the much-discussed issue of ‘love-jihad’ raked up by Yogi Adityanath had no impact and instead offered an opportunity to the SP to revive itself after the Lok Sabha debacle.

Nevertheless, ‘Saamana’ said the defeat in the bypolls cannot be attributed to a decline in the “Modi wave” just as nobody is crediting Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi for the victory the Congress notched.

“Usually, after every election, the winds change… Lok Sabha results cannot influence assembly outcome or the assembly results have no bearing on municipal polls outcome as the issues differ each time,” it said.

It lauded Modi for doing a great job on the national and international levels and working to enhance national security and improving the country’s image globally.

“He went to Japan, Bhutan, Nepal… played drums and flute with Japanese children, signed agreements for a bullet trains and development of his constituency Varanasi, and is now preparing to meet US President B. Obama,” the edit said.