Don't grab credit for outcome of polls, Shiv Sena chides BJP

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena criticised ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the second consecutive day on Saturday, asking it "not to grab all credit" for the results of the assembly elections in five states. The BJP could win only Assam, said the Shiv Sena, while the Left front bagged Kerala, Trinamool Congress swept West Bengal, AIADMK managed to retain Tamil Nadu and the Congress-DMK alliance accounted for Puducherry.  "It is erroneous to say that the people have wholeheartedly supported the performance of the BJP government at the centre in the past two years," the Sena said in a sharp editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana. "If that was so, then besides Assam the people of the other four states should also have endorsed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, its vision, its policies."  That did not happen and the fact was that in each of the four other states -- Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry -- the parties fought the elections on their own independent local agendas which helped them emerge victorious, said the Shiv Sena. "Tomorrow, if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton win in America or if Nawaz Sharif returns to office in Pakistan, can it be attributed to the performance of the Modi government?" the Sena asked sarcastically. The editorial criticised the BJP top brass for attributing the results of the elections to the good work of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. The Sena on Friday had said the BJP could not defeat the leaders of regional parties and even in Assam its victory came in alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). The BJP was content merely by "opening accounts" in West Bengal and Kerala, drawing a blank in Tamil Nadu despite its all-out efforts, and Congress returning to power in Puducherry, the Sena had said. Though the 'Congress-mukt' India was a laudable objective, the election results proved the BJP failed to achieve this, said the Sena. "If we discount Assam where it achieved full majority ('100 percent BJP') with AGP support, in the other four states, it did not even come up 'One Percent BJP,'" said the Sena. "Yet the victory in Assam has invigorated the BJP like a new birth in the family after many years, but four other babies are also born in the neighbourhood," the Sena said, ridiculing the BJP's claims. So the BJP could not claim credit in these four states (barring Assam) for making them 'Congress-mukt' as the performance of the regional parties and their leaders was fully supported by the people. The Sena said history is witness that one cannot destroy the Congress even when it is down, citing the example of the four seat won by the Congress in the recent by-elections to Delhi's municipal bodies. "You must watch out - the Congress's tail will continue to wag in some or the other part of the country; so, even when that party is completely down, it cannot be ruled out," the Sena warned.