Rockstar Modi wows Gujratis, eyes India
With a crowd of thousands lustily cheering him like youngsters would for their favourite Rockstar, Narendra Modi on Thursday delivered a post-poll victory speech combining passion, humility, introspection, pride and promises of development with sarcasm for his detractors, pitching himself as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP for the 2014 polls.
As he spoke again and again for the six crore Gujratis and thanked them for blessing him with a re-election for the third time, Modi chose Hindi as his medium of communication from his constituency in Ahmedabad to make himself heard for India.
The crowd at one point hollered: "PM, PM." Narendra Modi smiled astutely and said he would visit New Delhi on Dec 27 to please all of them, sending a bigger message perhaps to his party crouched in humour.
After scripting a significant victory in the Gujarat Assembly polls, Modi thanked the people of Gujarat and said the six-crore strong people of the politically crucial west Indian state were 'today's hero', promising them to move Gujarat further towards the path of development in the next five years.
Modi, who would now rule Gujarat for the third consecutive term, addressed his party workers and supporters at Ahmedabad after registering a thumping victory on Thursday and credited the people for their mature decision and making the difference between 'good and bad'.
Keeping his eyes fixed on the 2014 general elections in HIndi he called his win as a victory of all Indians from Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir to Assam and went to say that Gujarat is open to all to come and join the journey of the state's progress.
"A new era begins from today.It is time for more works. I am promising to the people of the state that my next five years in power will be again dedicated for the people of the state. Bless me so that I don't make a mistake or harm somebody," Modi said.
Political pundits, at whom he took a dig, would be analysing what Modi meant when he sought forgiveness for any past mistake or blessing of people and so that he did not repeat a mistake in his next tenure. Many said the words were gestures owing to his national ambitions and forgiveness for the 2002 riots in Gujarat that had left his image tainted for the carnage of the Muslims.
"Today's mandate shows people know what is wrong and right for them..The voters of Gujarat have proved that if they get good governance and development, they will make the right choice," he said.
Congratulating voters, he said: "If there is a hero today, it is my 6 crore Gujaratis." He said Gujratis would never bring back the days of caste politics during the 1980s.
Modi said: "BJP's Gujarat victory is a victory for all Indians." He also said that there is no enemy in democracy referring to the election campaigns when he was attacked by Opposition on many counts.
"Na mujhe rukna hai, na thakna hai (I will neither wait nor will I get tired)...Today, you have won me. For the next five years I am going to work hard to win you," the BJP strongman said in his 45-minute long speech.
"Mere Gujarat, mere Gujarat, mere Gujarat (My Gujarat, my Gujarat, my Gujarat)," he cried from the stage and the crowed cheered lustily.
Modi did not forget to slam his critics and political pandits who were unable to "digest this victory".
"I was listening to TV pundits. It seems that they can't digest Gujarat's victory.I am urging you (supporters) to pray for TV pundits for two minutes tonight so that they can wake up next day quite peacefully. The anti-Gujarat group are unable to accept BJP's victory. I really feel sorry for them," Modi said.
Living up to all expectations and beating all hurdles, Modi won a sweeping victory in Gujarat with the BJP bagging 116 of the 182 seats while Congress followed as a distant second with 60 seats, a performance poorer than its last show in 2007 though it increased the tally by one seat.
The Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) of Keshubhai Patel, which is seen as a spoiler by the BJP after the latter broke ranks with the saffron party and formed his own outfit, got only two seats.
Interestingly, Patel and Modi fed each other sweets after the win of Modi, stunning all and sending hint of a reunion if their smiles were any indications.
The mandate in favour of the charismatic Modi made him a strong contender in BJP to be pitched as their future Prime Minister if the party captured power in New Delhi.
"No need of looking behind, FORWARD! We want infinite energy, infinite courage, infinite patience," tweeted Modi as results started pouring in, in his favour.
After clinching a victory, Narendra Modi met his mother Hira Ba to seek her blessings.
Before meeting his mother, Modi tweeted: "Going to meet my Mother to seek her blessings on this memorable day."
BJP called it an emphatic win for Modi and his government's performance.
"Margin of victory indicates it is an emphatic win," said BJP central leader Arun Jaitley speaking to media.
"The win is all the most significant because we had a major spoiler there (he did not name Keshubhai Patel)," said Jaitley.
He said most of the senior leaders of Congress lost.
BJP patriarch L K Advani also congratulated Narendra Modi.
Congress, however, reacted interestingly to the massive win of Modi.
"BJP has been contained below 117. If the BJP does not cross 117 then Congress has improved its tally. Congress is a clear winner in Gujarat too," said Congress leader and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
External Affairs Minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid said: "We have lost Gujarat but won Himachal, but it wasn't an easy win for Modi. It was close fight. We are in the right direction; we will have go back to drawing board. One election doesn't make him PM candidate," Khurshid told a TV channel.
Congress leader and union minister Manish Tewari claimed that in constituencies where Rahul Gandhi had campaigned the party has won.
Gujarat went to two phased polls on Dec 13 and 17.
Narendra Modi himself won from the Maninagar seat beating his Congress challenger Shwetha Bhatt, wife of the anti-Modi IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt.
Amit Shah, a Modi confidant and former state home minister who was under scrutiny in a fake encounter killing case and is under judicial bail, also won the polls from Naranpura.
This election also saw a high turnout of voters.
In the second phase polls on Dec 17 in Gujarat, nearly 70 percent voters exercised their franchise. In the first phase the turnout was 71 percent on Dec 13.
Modi had campaigned aggressively for the elections, seeking the approval of voters once again on the plant of development while Congress poster boy Rahul Gandhi and party chief Sonia Gandhi had also carried out extensive campaigning.