A day after the grand alliance secured a landslide victory in the high-stakes Bihar Assembly polls, Shiv Sena, in a stinging attack on its alliance partner BJP, today said that the poll verdict has proved that people can be "fooled only once".
An editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana' also said that JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar's remarkable performance was due to several factors, the key being his "clean" campaign and honest image.
"Those who had taken the Delhi Assembly election lightly will have to take the Bihar results seriously because this was a direct fight between Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi. Even after using political might, money and various announcements, the BJP could not even win 60 seats while its allies have been buried 20 feet underground," said Sena, which partners the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
It said that one of the reasons behind the grand alliance's win was that Kumar did not lie and worked after taking the people into confidence.
"He did not make false promises, stopped hooliganism and brought law and order. He did not show off money and power. He went ahead with simplicity and during the course of campaigning, did not use uncivilised language. All this led to his victory," Sena said.
"One can win an election using power and money only once, like you can make a fool out of a person only once... We do not know if crackers have been burst in Pakistan after Nitish Kumar's victory, but, in Bihar, crackers are certainly being burst," it added in a sharp rebuke of BJP.
Sena said that the message in the results is that humility is not an ornament used for show-off, but a self-protection tool.
BJP chief Amit Shah had said on the campaign trail in Bihar that "if by mistake BJP loses the polls, crackers will go off in Pakistan".
In a spectacular comeback for JD(U), RJD and Congress (the constituents of the grand alliance) after their severe drubbing in last year's Lok Sabha polls at the hands of Modi, the three parties together secured 178 seats in the 243-member Bihar Assembly.
RJD emerged at the top of the pack with 80 seats while JD(U) bagged 71. Congress also made impressive gains, winning 27 seats. It had won only four last time.
The BJP-led NDA, for which Modi had mounted an aggressive campaign, addressing more than 30 rallies in the poll-bound state, only bagged 58 seats. BJP on its own could win 53 out of the 157 seats it contested.