Taking a dig at the BJP over its impressive performance in the first round of civic polls in Maharashtra, ally Shiv Sena on Wednesday said those who link the saffron party’s victory to demonetisation are “fools”. “Those who say that people have voted the BJP to power due to the decision of demonetisation are fools. If that was the case, at least 100 candidates from that party would have been elected as council chiefs, which did not happen,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
The NDA partner also took a swipe at the BJP for having its campaign spearheaded by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying ,in contrast, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray or any of the party leaders did not engage in poll campaign.
“We wanted to instill confidence in our workers that they can fight against the pressures of money-based campaign, which we succeeded in proving. Our win assumes significance as we, in a bid to get the required numbers, did not engage in any unholy alliance,” it said, adding this makes the party’s win “pure”.
“We did not adopt the approach of dampening the morale of our party workers by allying with parties against whom we levelled charges of large scale corruption,” the Sena said.
Had the Shiv Sena entered into “backdoor alliances” with parties like the Congress, NCP and the AIMIM, it too could have notched up larger numbers, Sena said.
With the government introducing direct elections for the post of heads of municipal councils, the BJP emerged as the single largest gainer with 52 seats followed by Shiv Sena 23, Congress 19, NCP 16 and others 28.