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Shiv Sena lauds Rahul humility, stings PM

This was the third attack on the BJP from its oldest ally in as many days since the party suffered its worst electoral defeat

By Our Special Correspondent in Mumbai

  • Published 14.12.18, 4:04 AM
  • Updated 14.12.18, 9:32 AM
Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House on Thursday.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House on Thursday. PTI

Restive ally Shiv Sena on Thursday reminded the BJP of the importance of humility in public life while praising Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

“Our culture (holds) that as with defeat, victory should be accepted with humility. This (precept) was not followed after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana read on Thursday.

This was the third attack on the BJP from its oldest ally in as many days since the party suffered its worst electoral defeat under the watch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah.

“Rahul Gandhi accepted his victory humbly. He even acknowledged the contribution of the chief ministers from the BJP in the three states where the Congress came to power,” the editorial said.

“Modi never acknowledges the contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi in building the nation. Modi is not even willing to accept the role of veteran L.K. Advani in building the BJP.”

Modi is known for bashing Nehru and his descendants and has repeatedly said or insinuated — in the country and abroad — that governments preceding the current one had virtually done nothing good for the country.

“Why did Rahul Gandhi survive this storm? Why did democracy survive despite so many bruises? The answer lies in humility. The election results are a lesson. But is there a desire to learn?” the Saamana editorial said.

“In dozens of rallies that the Prime Minister held, he attacked Rahul Gandhi without taking into consideration his (Modi’s) constitutional post. Even in defeat he did not congratulate Rahul Gandhi.”

Shah had tweeted a congratulatory message for Telengana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, whose party had trounced the Congress-led front, but made no mention of the results in the other states.

The Sena has been unhappy at what it believes is the BJP’s imperious, of not bullying, attitude. The allies contested the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly polls separately and joined hands only after the results.

A weakened BJP will allow the Sena to assert itself ahead of the general election, at a time when the BJP is expected to seek new allies and depend ever more on the old ones, thanks to Tuesday’s state election setbacks.

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