Pointing to the Bihar and Karnataka by-poll results, Sena stressed the importance of the 6-party rainbow coalition in winning elections, and added that the saffron alliance would have to work hard to ensure victory in Maharashtra.
After Mahayuti swept 42 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats, BJP has been asserting itself and stressing the 'shatpratishat BJP' (100% BJP) line.
"Voters showed that polling for Lok Sabha differs from that of the state polls. Everyone must take this seriously," warned a 'Saamna' editorial on Tuesday. Party president Uddhav Thackeray is its editor and Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut the executive editor.
"The meaning of the by-poll results is that in assembly polls Sena-BJP and Mahayuti will have to gird their loins. People want a change of regime in Maharashtra, but elections cannot be won merely on the basis of 'hava' (wave). People voted for prime minister Modi to ensure that the country is run well. The wave and equations in a state poll are different, and to ensure that they are not spoiled, the by-poll results will have to be studied," Sena warned.
"The massive victory in Lok Sabha polls taught us one lesson that (Congress') arrogance of power would be crushed," the editorial said, adding that the by-poll results too held out a similar lesson.
"In Lok Sabha polls, people stripped Congress of its arrogance and hubris and voted us to ensure that a strong person like Modi became the PM," Raut said later, and added that Mahayuti would have to work hard to win in Maharashtra.
"In Lok Sabha polls, there was a massive wave in favour of Modi, and due to this Modi's opponents in UP and Bihar bit the dust. But from the by-election results one can see that some worms have been given a new lease of life. Those who know political equations know that the results of by-elections like those in Bihar, Karnataka and Punjab, always differ from general elections," said the editorial.
LS setback had forced sworn enemies, Yadav and Kumar, to join hands for the by-elections in what was criticised as "an alliance between snake and scorpion," the editorial said, adding:...but it cannot be denied that the snake-scorpion alliance won six seats," it added.
When contacted, BJP leaders were guarded in their reaction. They "do not comment on newspaper editorials", they maintained. However, in a BJP statement released as part of a media workshop organised by state BJP, Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu was quoted as saying: "According to an opinion survey, for 57% of the people, Modi is the best prime minister. And if elections are held now, BJP will get 314 seats on its own, 32 seats more than the present number."