The Shiv Sena on Monday targetted the Congress for its “shameful defeat” in the Lok Sabha elections and praised the “organisation building abilities’’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah.
In a scathing editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said the Congress was directionless and that it has “leaders but lacks party workers”. Congress won only 52 seats in the elections. The BJP won 303 out of 542 seats to get a second straight term in power.
“Rahul Gandhi’s personality does not attract people and his speeches are not impressive,” said the editorial titled: “What will happen to Congress is a question”. “Is there anything that can inspire a person or the country from whatever Rahul Gandhi says?”
The editorial lauded Shah’s organisational capabilities while saying that Gandhi was surrounded by either “childish stuff or pensioners club”. It also referred to Gandhi’s accusations against former Union minister P Chidambaram, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of placing their sons above the party during the polls.
In a reference to the Congress Working Committee rejecting Gandhi’s offer to resign as party chief, the editorial said: “The one who does not accept it [resignation] do not have an option or a strong hand; this is the current state of the Congress party. The question is what will happen to such a party.”
The editorial also criticised the Congress for appointing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra the general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh East region ahead of the general elections, saying it had zero impact in the polls. “In 2014, the party had won 2 seats in UP, now it came down to one, even Rahul Gandhi lost his seat,” the editorial said.
Rahul Gandhi lost from family bastion Amethi to BJP leader Smriti Irani by a margin of 55,120 votes. The sole Congress winner in Uttar Pradesh was Sonia Gandhi who secured Rae Bareli, where her victory margin was 1.67 lakh votes.
On May 23, the day election results were declared, Shiv Sena had said that no one would be able to counter Modi for the next 25 years. “The entire country is ‘Modi-may’ [in awe of Modi],” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party had often criticised the BJP in the last five years before forming an alliance with the ruling party ahead of the elections. The BJP won 23 seat and Shiv Sena 18 of Maharashtra’s 48 seats. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party won four and Congress managed to bag just one seat.