HEAPING praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP-led NDA was heading for a resounding victory in Lok Sabha polls, the Shiv Sena on Thursday said nobody would be able to pose a challenge before him for the next 25 years. Sena MP Sanjay Raut also claimed the NDA’s victory this time would be bigger than in 2014. People gave a befitting reply to the Opposition parties which created ‘an atmosphere of illusion’ against Modi over issues such as the Rafale fighter jet deal, he said. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party often criticised the BJP in the last five years but eventually sealed a fresh seat- sharing pact with it ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
“The entire country is ‘Modi-may’ (in thrall of Modi),” Raut, who edits the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, told reporters here. “The truth has to be accepted that no one could counter Modi. Today’s mandate is such that no one can counter (Modi) for the next 25 years,” Raut said. The Rajya Sabha member said that the BJP-led NDA was also doing well in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where the Congress won the Assembly polls last year.
“The country has reposed faith in Narendra Modi’s leadership for the next five years. He will take the country even further ahead in five years,” he said. Raut said that the Opposition parties are needed in a democracy, but they should introspect as to why people rejected them. “Why they lost in their bastions? Why former Chief Ministers (Congress candidates Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde) too were routed? Why people are so angry with the Opposition?” he said. In Maharashtra, which sends 48 members to the Lok Sabha, the BJP emerged victorious in one seat and was leading in 22 other seats while the Sena was ahead in 18 seats.
The Congress and its ally NCP were leading in one and four seats, respectively. Meanwhile, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday said the landslide mandate for the NDA is a huge opportunity for the saffron alliance to take the nation forward. Aaditya said he ‘bowed’ before the voters of the country for reposing their faith in the ruling alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supported by his father and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and other allies.