BJP revels in long-expected Gujarat victory

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 20, 2012 11:19 hrs

Ahmedabad: The drum beats rolled outside the BJP office in Ahmedabad as the trends came in and Modi prepared for a third straight term as chief minister, with speculation mounting over whether he would be the BJP's man for prime minister in 2014.

 Modi, who has ruled Gujarat since 2001, did not immediately come out to address his jubilant supporters.

But even before the results were clear, he sent out a message on Twitter: "No need of looking behind, FORWARD! We want infinite energy, infinite courage, infinite patience..."

"Aaj ka CM, 2014 ka PM!" shouted his supporters as if on cue.

BJP party president Nitin Gadkari today thanked the people of Gujarat for the success.

"Gujarat has given preference to the politics of development and the (BJP) government has in the country enhanced its prestige as a role model. The people of Gujarat have again chosen BJP under Narendra bhai for the development of the state," Gadkari said.

Gadkari accused the Congress of trying to play the communal card and said that all sections of the people had voted for the BJP.

"The Congress tried to communalise the elections but all sections of the society contributed to the BJP victory for which I thank the people of Gujarat," Gadkari said.

"(The Gujarat election) is not about PM candidate but about who wins in Gujarat," BJP leader Balbir Punj said. "Let us savour this moment."

Rajya Sabha MP Smriti Irani said frankly that Modi, 62, would be her candidate for the country's top post on the strength of his governance in Gujarat.

 Terming it a spectacular victory, Seshadri Chari of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) echoed that view. "This election is not to elect a PM candidate.

"We had expected the number to cross 125 but still we are very happy," Chari said.

"Modi means development," said Shrikant Sharma, the BJP's national media secretary. "A lot of Indians expect him to be made the prime ministerial candidate, but that's a call the party will take."

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said in a statement that she had spoken to Modi over telephone and congratulated him for his "thumping victory".

Modi thanked Jayalalithaa for her good wishes, the statement said.

Asked whether 2014 Lok Sabha election will be fought between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said it will decide on its prime ministerial candidate after the Congress decision on it.

"Congress should first declare their leader under whose leadership they would fight '14 elections. After the Congress announcement of its leader, we will discuss the issue. For BJP, it is not an issue. When the elections will be announced, we will discuss the issue and decide accordingly," he told reporters outside Parliament.

Terming the BJP win in Gujarat elections as a "major victory", he said, "It is a victory for the BJP and Narendrabhai leadership. What is more is that the BJP is coming to power in Gujarat for the fifth term. Its a major achievement."

Asked about the Congress claim of gaining more seats in Gujarat, he said, "One seat less or two seats more is not a big issue. The issue is that we have retained the confidence of the people. We have established the leads in all the regions of the state. BJP has also improved its position in the so called minority areas."

BJP clean sweeps Ahmedabad

 Ahmedabad, Dec 20 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made a clean sweep of 12 of the 17 seats in Ahmedabad. The Congress got four while the result of one was not available.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi was elected to the Gujarat assembly from Maninagar constituency on Ahmedabad's outskirts by more than 70,000 votes.

Amit Shah, a former Gujarat minister and an accused in the Soharabuddin Sheikh murder case, won from Naranpura.

He won by over 30,000 votes, compared to his previous victory margin of over 2.50 lakh.

In a surprise development, the Jamalpur-Khadia constituency elected the BJP, albeit by only 2,800 votes. The seat, considered a weak spot for the BJP, is dominated by Muslims.

In the newly formed Vejalpur constituency, Rakesh Shah of BJP won.

Congress' Tejasvi Patel, Karamsi Patel, Shailesh Parmar and Z. Shaikh captured the Viramgam, Sanand, Danilimda and Dariapur seats respectively.

Modi supporters celebrate victory in Gujarat polls

 Supporters of incumbent Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi began celebrations in different parts of the country on Thursday, as reports trickled in of the Bharatiya Janata Party maintaining a decisive lead during counting.

Modi looks set to win a third consecutive term as the chief minister of Gujarat on Thursday.

According to Election Commission website the BJP has won 77 seats and leading at other 39 seats till 3 p.m. while the main rival, Congress Party is likely to win about 60 out of total 182 assembly seats in the state.

Party workers lit firecrackers and danced at the BJP office in Ahmedabad. BJP spokesperson Asifa Khan said that the people had voted in favour of 'true' development.

"This is the hard work of Mr. Narendra Modi, and we are thankful to the people of Gujarat for voting in the name of true development. It is a victory of the people and of the government which took everybody on the path of development," Khan said.

Celebrations were also held at the BJP offices in New Delhi and Mumbai. In Mumbai, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya joined the revellers to try his hand at traditional two-sided drums.

A jubilant Somaiya said that the people of Gujarat had given a candidate for Prime Minister.

"This is not just a victory of the people of Gujarat or of Narendra Modi alone. The people have presented Modi to the country as their candidate for Prime Minister. We are celebrating this victory by singing, dancing and distributing sweets," he said.

The BJP had won 117 seats in 2007 assembly elections.

Modi seeks his mother's blessings after BJP's triumph in Gujarat

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is now set for a third consecutive term, met his mother here on Thursday afternoon and sought her blessings.

Modi won from the Maninagar assembly constituency by over 86,373 votes and defeated his rival Congress candidate Shweta Bhatt, who is the wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt.

Modi polled 1,20,470 votes, while Shweta Bhatt got 34,097 votes.

Expressing his delight with the BJP leading in the Gujarat assembly polls, Modi earlier in the day said that there was 'no need of looking behind'.

"No need of looking behind, FORWARD! We want infinite energy, infinite courage, infinite patience," he tweeted.

According to latest reports, the BJP is leading in 121 seats in Gujarat and the Congress alliance is ahead in 55 seats.

There are 182 assembly seats in Gujarat and a party needs at least 92 seats to get a majority and form the government.

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