Reacting cautiously to the BJP’s unprecedented success in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, NDA partner Shiv Sena said it now hopes the Ram temple is constructed soon in Ayodhya. Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut claimed the party stopped the BJP wave in Mumbai and Maharashtra, which underlines the Sena’s strength and importance in the state.

“Lord Ram’s exile is over and we now hope that a Ram temple will be constructed in Ayodhya soon,” said Raut, after congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the victory in UP.

“Those who have lost the polls will now realise the Sena’s strength and importance for stopping the Modi wave in the recent polls (in Maharashtra),” Raut added.

The Shiv Sena and the BJP, which have strained relations despite sharing power in the state and the Centre, fought the recent local body polls across Maharashtra separately, including in Mumbai. In the Mumbai municipality, the Sena emerged as the single largest party with 84 seats and the BJP won 82.

Raut claimed the Assembly election results declared Saturday would not have any impact on Maharashtra politics. “We will talk about the state politics after a week. By then, the current wave would have abated and new governments would have been formed,” he said.

The Sena had contested 50 seats in UP and five in Goa but did not win any in either state.