New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi who was referred as ‘Pappu’ by his opponents has now become ‘Param Pujya’ (most revered), said Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Chief Raj Thackeray, a day after the grand old party registered thumping victory in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections.  “Rahul Gandhi was alone in Gujarat, even in Karnataka and now too. Now Pappu has become Param Pujya. Will his leadership be accepted at the national level, you are seeing it,” Thackeray said.

Thackeray, on the other hand, blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah’s behaviour for  Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) humiliating defeat. “It was bound to happen. The way Amit Shah and Modi ji behaved in the past four years. It is all clear to the people of India now. they failed in all fronts and they have nothing to show… so they are playing Ram Mandir card but people are smart enough,” he added.

Earlier in the day, National Conference leader Omar Abdulah had also  congratulated Rahul Gandhi and had asked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to hold PM Narendra Modi responsible for the party’s electoral defeats. “Congratulations to the Congress and especially to its leader Rahul Gandhi for the great success in these elections. He took the blame and brickbats for all the setbacks and now deserves the credit for these victories. It was nice to have something to celebrate on counting day.”

“And for my friends in the BJP – you can’t blame Rahul Gandhi for losing elections and not apply the same yardstick to Modiji,” he added. Notably, the Congress emerged victorious on 114 seats, two short of the magic figure, in Madhya Pradesh. It  got the support by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP).

While in Rajasthan, the Congress won 99 seats and received the support of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to reach the majority mark of 100. The party however registered a thumping victory in Chhattisgarh by bagging 68 seats in the state.