Mumbai, Dec 20: The Gujarat Assembly election results gave another opportunity to Shiv Sena to target its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since the results are out, Shiv Sena has been launching stinging attacks on BJP after the latter secured majority by a small margin and failed to achieve its target of 150 seats. In today’s Saamana, the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena, the Maharashtra-based party not only slammed BJP for celebrating Gujarat verdict but also raised doubts over EVM machines.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah vowed to win 150 and more than 150 seats in Gujarat Assembly elections. However, the party couldn’t touch the century mark. Despite this, BJP’s celebration on Gujarat results is beyond understanding,” said the editorial in Saamana. The BJP on Monday just managed to hold on to power in Gujarat, edging past the half-way mark to clinch the sixth term in government. BJP bagged 99 seats, seven more than the magic figure of 92 in a House of 182.

Shiv Sena further said Gujarat election results showed that BJP was losing ground in rural areas. “People in urban areas voted for BJP. But ‘real India’ which resides in rural parts rejected them…..Like Gujarat, Congress will give a tough fight to the BJP in rural areas of other states in future polls,” Shiv Sena said in the Marathi daily. Referring to Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s allegation of EVM tampering, Shiv Sena said, at one point, Congress was leading over the BJP but during the last round of counting the ruling party went ahead. “There are doubts,” said Shiv Sena.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party further downplayed the victory of BJP in Himachal Pradesh. “BJP won 44 out of 68 seats in Himachal Pradesh. However, several heavyweights including party’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal and state president lost elections,” Sena said. “Like Gujarat, BJP failed to gain much in rural parts of Himachal Pradesh, which means ‘Vikas’ hasn’t reached there yet,” it added.