Amid the logjam over government formation in Maharashtra, a Marathi daily, widely seen inclined towards the RSS, on Tuesday reiterated that the state Assembly polls' mandate is for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and not any other political combination.
In a veiled attack on Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who has been quite vocal about his party's demand for sharing the chief minister's post, the Nagpur-based publication Tarun Bharat said a king (apparently referring to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray), despite facing problems from his courtiers, has to intervene and assure people that he is the supreme leader.
The publication on Monday also said that the mandate in Maharashtra is for the 'Mahayuti' (BJP-Sena alliance), and going by the number of seats won, "people have decided who is the big brother between them".
In an editorial on Tuesday, it sought to know whether Maharashtra should have a stable government or not when it is facing severe agrarian crisis and the Supreme Court's verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case is expected soon.
"The mandate is for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and not for BJP alone. The mandate is also not for any other political arithmetic...respecting the mandate of people should reflect in words and actions of both the saffron parties," it said.
Hitting out at Raut, who is the executive editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', the publication said, "The king at times faces problems due to some of his courtiers in the 'darbar', but the king has to intervene and assure people that he is the supreme leader."
The publication, believed to be close to the Sangh and its political extension BJP, wondered how Raut failed to understand that the Congress would not extend support to the Shiv Sena-NCP combination, as the Assembly polls are coming up in New Delhi, Bihar and later in Uttar Pradesh.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi after which he asserted that the responsibility to form the government in Maharashtra is with the BJP and its allies, but kept the guessing game on with a "can't say what will happen" in the future remark.
The Marathi daily on Monday likened Raut to 'Betaal', the mythological ghost known for challenging King Vikramaditya with his witty riddles, saying he was hurting the chances of the BJP-Sena alliance to come to power in Maharashtra.
Raut has been asserting that the state's next chief minister of Maharashtra will be from the Shiv Sena.
The BJP and Sena are caught in a stalemate over the chief minister's post, with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party demanding an equal division of the top post's tenure and the BJP rejecting it.
In the last month's state polls, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)