Student or Learner
The Saamna attack on Tendulkar was Balasaheb Thackeray's clever ploy to put the Raj Thackeray-led MNS on the mat. The Sena, which suffered a spectacular debacle in the recent assembly elections, has reason to fear the MNS' growing clout among Mumbaikar Marathis, especially in view of the 2012 civic elections in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik, say political observers.
Source : Sena plays down Sachin controversy - Mumbai - City - The Times of India
Please tell me what "on the mat" means in this context.
A person who is "on the mat" is in trouble and facing discipline or comment. Comes from the days when managers' offices were better furnished than the rest of an office/factory, so they would have a rug in front of the desk on which a person would stand if called in for a reprimand.