New Delhi: Narendra Modi won Gujarat on Thursday, but his victory speech on Thursday suggests he may be eying a spot in Delhi.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi declared on Thursday that his hat-trick of an election win held a national message and that he was serving "Mother India" besides his own state.
Addressing thousands of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters in his Maninagar constituency, the 62-year-old politician repeatedly appealed to the Gujarati pride of the voters but curiously chose to speak in Hindi.
Keeping his eyes fixed on the 2014 general elections, 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.
Brand Modi, not BJP won Gujarat: Yeddyurappa
BS Yeddyurappa, the Karnataka strongman who recently quit the BJP, said the victory belongs only to Modi and not the BJP party. He spoke of the "victory of brand Modi" and suggested Modi is carrying the BJP than the other way around.
Yeddyurappa, who launched his own party the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) recently, refused to comment on Modi's potential as a PM
Nitish Kumar's party not swayed by Modi's win
An important ally for the BJP, the Janata Dal United or JD(U), doesn't share the enthusiasm of the BJP
JD(U)'s leader Nitish Kumar has always spoken critically of the 2002 riots that left 1,200 people dead in Gujarat and has questioned the secular status of Modi.
As of yet, Nitish has not commented on Modi's victory, but his party made a statement suggesting it is too concerned with its ally's success in Gujarat.
"What is proved by his win...what does that have to do with us?" asked Ali Anwar, a parliamentarian from the Janata Dal(United) in Delhi today. "When they discuss the candidates with us, we will share our feedback. We are a secular country...a leader must exhibit secular credentials," NDTV quoted him as saying.