Sena's Raut takes potshots at alliance partner BJP

Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut addresses a press conference ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's visit, in Lucknow, (PTI Photo)

A day after Maharashtra Assembly election results showed a dip in BJP's tally compared to 2014 polls, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut posted a cartoon to take a dig at his party's senior alliance partner, the BJP.

The cartoon, posted by Raut on his verified Twitter account, shows a tiger (Shiv Sena's party symbol) wearing a clock locket (NCPs party symbol) sniffing a lotus (BJPs party symbol).

While the post is captioned "bura na maano Diwali hai" to denote that it was made in jest, the underlined message echoes with what former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan sought to convey about the Sena, NCP and Congress coming together to prevent BJP from retaining power in Maharashtra.

Chavan had on Thursday spoken of an "interesting possibility", that of the Sena, NCP and Congress aligning to upset the BJP's applecart.

In the 288-member Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, while ally Sena bagged 56. The NCP bagged 54 seats and the Congress emerged victorious in 44 seats.

In the 2014 polls, the BJP had won 122 seats, the Sena 63, the Congress 42 and the NCP 41.

Chavan said the results have thrown up an "interesting possibility", but stopped short of indicating if the Congress and NCP will align with the Sena - which he termed as the 'lesser evil' (compared to BJP) - to form the next government in Maharashtra.

In terms of the increase in a number of seats compared to the 2014 polls, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP emerged as the largest gainer, while the BJP's tally took a considerable dip.

Meanwhile, the Sena mouthpiece Saamana on Friday had a big headline on its front page, proclaiming that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has the "keys to power" in Maharashtra.

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