The Gujarat election results have come as a “warning bell” to those who believe in autocratic rule, the Shiv Sena said today. In an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the Sena asked the BJP to pay heed to the ‘sterling performance’ of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Patidar leader Hardik Patel in Gujarat. “Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to play the ‘Gujarati pride’ card (to win these elections),” it said noting that while people of Gujarat stood behind Modi in 99 constituencies, the “Rahul Gandhi-Hardik Patel duo” emerged victorious in 77 seats. The BJP won Gujarat and Himachal, but the Congress also did not lose, the Sena said, adding “the dream of a ‘Congress-Mukt Bharat’ (Congress-free India) remained unfulfilled”.
The Sena said there were some who ridiculed Rahul Gandhi and Hardik Patel as “monkeys” compared to the BJP leadership. “These ‘monkeys’ have slapped the ‘lion’ and sounded the danger alarm,” it added. “Those who indulged in this ridicule now have to pretend that they have passed with distinction, despite barely managing to pass (the poll exam),” the Sena said. This election result is a “warning bell” for those who believe in autocratic rule, the Sena said. “The much-touted Gujarat model (of development) is shaken. We only wish that in (the) 2019 (elections), it does not collapse,” it said. On the BJP workers rejoicing the win yesterday, the Sena wondered whether the party has scored “such a scintillating victory” that it was worthy of being celebrated with dancing.
“BJP may have won the election, but the discussion is about the strides Rahul Gandhi has taken. It was said that we (BJP) won’t get a single seat less than 150 in Gujarat, but it proved to be a tough task even to reach the 100 mark,” said the editorial. “To summarise, one can say that the ‘wind’ has not changed direction (but) it has certainly slowed down. The (once) high tide has now subsided,” it said.