Amid stalemate over government formation in Maharashtra, a Marathi newspaper has compared Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut to “Betaal” — an Indian mythological character of a spirit.

Betaal” or “vetala” in Hindu mythology is usually defined as an evil spirit or a ghost. The term is also used in Marathi to refer to a person indulging in loose talks.

Without naming Sanjay Raut, “Tarun Bharat”, a Nagpur-based daily publication, said the leader was hurting the chances of BJP-Sena alliance to come to power in Maharashtra.

The pro-right wing daily also called him a “joker” and said “his attempts to portray a picture that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is isolated in the BJP is nothing but pure entertainment.”

Sanjay Raut, the Sena’s Rajya Sabha member and executive editor of its mouthpiece “Saamana”, has been at the forefront of voicing his party’s demands over equal distribution of power and sharing of the chief minister’s post with the BJP in the next Maharashtra government.

The Marathi daily published an editorial titled “Uddhav and Betaal” today which said: “Late Balasaheb Thackeray spent his entire life for wresting power from the Congress and NCP. But this Betaal is
Click Here: liverpool mens jerseytrying hard to shatter his dreams and there will be no disappointment like this to see the Sena dragging behind one loud-mouth.”

It added that the Shiv Sena leader’s first name — Sanjay — was also the name of a character from Mahabharat (a Sanskrit epic from ancient India) who gave a “live relay” of the war between the Pandavas and Kauravas to blind King Dritharashtra.

“Sanjay’s job is to provide valuable inputs. But he himself is turning a blind eye, then there is need to worry about the Sena’s future,” the editorial said.

The Shiv Sena must be aware of the fact that one who cuts a branch while sitting on it is not a wood-cutter but “Sheikh Chilli” (a comic character in Indian folktales), it said.

“The BJP as single largest party can always stake claim for government formation and it will get time to win the vote of confidence till the next session of both Houses. The mandate 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,” the newspaper said.

There is a message behind why the BJP is not staking claim for government formation, as the party knows the meaning of the mandate, it added.

The BJP with 105 seats and the Sena with 56 seats have a clear majority in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.

The editorial questioned if the Shiv Sena, while being the senior ally during its term in power with the BJP in 1995-99, ever thought of sharing the chief minister’s post at that time.

Till 2009, the post of leader of the opposition (LoP) was also with the Sena, despite the BJP for the first time getting one seat more than the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, it claimed.

“How can a party which stuck to the numbers while taking the post of LoP now demand chief ministership (while having lesser number of seats than its ally)?” the editorial questioned.