MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed the BJP, instead of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, was working on how to improve its image and win the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due next year after it "did not do so well" in the panchayat polls there.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said after failing to win the West Bengal Assembly polls, the BJP leadership has shifted focus to Uttar Pradesh.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a meeting to discuss 'Mission Uttar Pradesh'," the Marathi daily claimed.
"It seems as if all issues in the country are resolved and there is only one work left of declaring elections and contesting them holding massive rallies and roadshows to win polls," it said in taunting remarks.
No doubt, elections are important in parliamentary democracy, but are polls a priority in the present situation? the editorial asked.
"The BJP is working on how to improve its image and win the UP polls after it did not do so well in the panchayat polls there," it stated.
Earlier, there were demands that elections in Assam, West Bengal and other states be postponed or held in a single phase.
But, the polls in West Bengal were conducted in eight phases, because of which the coronavirus spread not just in WB, but the entire country, the editorial claimed.
It further claimed that COVID-19 management has collapsed completely in UP and the BJP is likely to face trouble in the Assembly polls there and the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
"COVID-19 is a national calamity and it was bound to hit big states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. The floating bodies in the Ganga river in UP brought tears in the eyes of the world," it said.
At present, the entire focus has to be on the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Sena, which shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.
"Otherwise, the Ganga river will be a carrier of Hindu dead bodies and this is not good for the country's image," it added.