SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI
image
G U J A R A T    V E R D I C T

BJP celebrates new undisputed hero
Ahmedabad, December 23
Modi masks, Modi T-shirt, Modi slogans... It was Chief Minister Narendra Modi all the way as thousands of people today celebrated a resounding win by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat.

Narendra Modi Triumph a ‘positive vote’
Ahmedabad, December 23
A beaming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today thanked the Gujaratis for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s thumping win in the Assembly elections and termed his victory as a “positive vote”.

CM set to play bigger role?
New Delhi, December 23
As Narendra Modi is set to be sworn-in for a third time as Chief Minister of Gujarat, the BJP today did not rule out a bigger role for the leader, including at the national level.

LeT may attack Modi, warn agencies
New Delhi, December 23
Central security agencies have warned of an assassination attempt on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by terror groups like Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) and asked the state government to further tighten his security.

Jubilant BJP supporters at the party head office in New Delhi on Sunday.
Jubilant BJP supporters at the party head office in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo by Manas Ranjan Bhui

Modi to take oath on Dec 27
New Delhi, December 23
The BJP parliamentary board, the highest central decision making body of the party, today declared Narendra Modi as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Cong again sings ‘secular’ hymn
Terms verdict Modi’s win

New Delhi, December 23
Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily has said the defeat of his party in the Gujarat assembly elections will help in uniting the secular forces in the country.

Gajraj grounded
New Delhi, December 23
“Hathi kahin Gajraj Hai, Modi ja Yamraj hai” (It is not just any elephant, but the king of elephants and Modi’s nemesis), was the catch line of the BSP in Gujarat. However, the “elephant” has stumbled, as the BSP has failed to win even a single seat in the 182-member Gujarat assembly where it strove hard to emerge as the “third alternative”.

Poll pundits take a beating
New Delhi, December 23
Psephologists, often getting the wrong end of the stick for their off-the-mark exit poll surveys, had predicted a BJP victory but none had given the saffron party the number it finally got.

Seven BJP ministers among losers
Ahmedabad, December 23
Though sailing on Modi magic, the ruling BJP has achieved a thumping victory in the state assembly elections, at least seven of its ministers, including three cabinet ministers, lost their seats.

Votes are counted at a counting centre in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Votes are counted at a counting centre in Ahmedabad on Sunday. — PTI

Threat of snap poll over: Advani
New Delhi, December 23
BJP’s victory in the Gujarat assembly elections has definitely put off the threat of mid-term poll, senior leader L.K. Advani said here.

MLAs elect their leader today
New Delhi, December 23
The newly-elected BJP MLAs in Gujarat are meeting in Gandhinagar tomorrow to elect Narendra Modi as the leader of the legislature party, paving the way of his becoming the Chief Minister for the third time. The Parliamentary Board, the highest decision making body of the BJP, cleared the name of Modi, who steered the saffron party to a third consecutive term in Gujarat at its meeting held here.

A congratulatory call from PM
New Delhi, December 23
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called up Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to congratulate him on his victory in the state assembly elections.

 

Top









 

BJP celebrates new undisputed hero

Ahmedabad, December 23
Modi masks, Modi T-shirt, Modi slogans... It was Chief Minister Narendra Modi all the way as thousands of people today celebrated a resounding win by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat.

It was festival time at the BJP headquarters here and in virtually every town across the state with men and women pouring out of their homes and dancing to drum beats, waving the party’s green-and-saffron flags and shouting unending slogans hailing their undisputed hero, Modi.

Firecrackers were set off at regular intervals, the deafening noise at times drowning the wild sloganeering. Many distributed sweets.

Some men danced holding their children on their shoulders.

Many sported “Modi masks”, which became hugely popular during the campaigning for the December 11 and 16 polling, waving their hands frantically each time TV cameras focussed on them.

At the party head office, a few Muslims conspicuous with their skullcaps joined the chorus.

“There has been developmental work. Let us hope Modi continues to develop Gujarat,” Mohammed Bilal, one of the Muslims, told IANS.

Slogans that rent the air included “Jeet Gaya Gujarat!” (Gujarat has won) - A change from the pre-election slogan of “Jeetega Gujarat!” (Gujarat will win).

A stall quickly came up outside the BJP office to sell the Modi memorabilia, including badges and stickers.

Some supporters sported the Santa Claus cap that has been selling well in the winter season ahead of Christmas.

Vehicular movement at the nearby traffic junction came to halt, with supporters’ cars bearing large posters of Modi.

The BJP is expected to win nearly 120 seats in the 182-member legislature.

Suresh Patel, a BJP supporter who came from the outskirts of Ahmedabad, said: “This is Modi’s magic.” Inside the party office, BJP leaders were huddled taking down notes furiously while checking updates on TV news channels.

Modi was closeted with his aides throughout the morning at his Gandhinagar residence.

In stark contrast, there were few party workers at the Congress office across the river Sabarmati. Outside, the open ground was deserted, but for the presence of a large number of journalists.

In New Delhi, hundreds of BJP members and supporters danced to drum beats outside the party headquarters, burst firecrackers and distributed sweets.

They also shouted slogans hailing Modi, BJP leader L. K. Advani and the party.

Many of them made fun of BJP dissidents in Gujarat, who had been expected to cause major losses to the party in the December 11 and 16 elections. — IANS

Top

 

Triumph a ‘positive vote’

Ahmedabad, December 23
A beaming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today thanked the Gujaratis for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s thumping win in the Assembly elections and termed his victory as a “positive vote”.

He urged all parties and all those who love Gujarat to rise above political equations and rededicate themselves for the progress of the state.

“This is a positive vote. This vote was to bring back the government to power.” “The people of Gujarat have rejected the negative campaign and given a positive vote. The anti-Gujarat forces have been defeated,” said Modi, as he appealed to his supporters to accept the verdict with humility and sagacity.

He described the victory as the “fruit of toil” of the party workers and appealed to all political parties to work for the betterment of the state.

“Gujarat is celebrating its golden jubilee in 2010. I appeal to all political parties, all those who love Gujarat and supporters inside and outside the country, to support the development of the state.” Modi credited the BJP’s victory to the party cadres and the national leadership as well as the people of Gujarat.

In a statement earlier, Modi said: “I thank the people of Gujarat for giving me the responsibility of governance for another term.” “I humbly accept the historic verdict of the people,” he said. “Let us rise above political equations and rededicate ourselves for the development of the state”.

“In the mandate after the elections fought on the issue of development, this is a victory of the people of Gujarat. By defeating the anti-Gujarat elements, Gujarat has made its decision to continue its victory march.” Modi also thanked his party and its senior leaders “for putting confidence in me as a BJP worker”.

Calling the win “historic”, he said “The people of Gujarat, thousands of BJP workers and the guidance of the central leadership have scripted a new chapter in history”. — IANS

Top

 

CM set to play bigger role?

New Delhi, December 23
As Narendra Modi is set to be sworn-in for a third time as Chief Minister of Gujarat, the BJP today did not rule out a bigger role for the leader, including at the national level.

“Politics does not accept any form of stagnation. Politicians, personalities evolve over a period of time. What will happen 10 years down the row or five years down the row I don’t know,” senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said here. He was responding to a question on whether Modi could be given a role in the party at the national level.

“As for a role for him in the national party is concerned, certainly he is one of our foremost leaders in the country. He has a great amount of charisma and he is there,” Jaitley said.

Jaitley, however, said: “But as of today, I am reasonably certain he is committed to the people of Gujarat.

He has secured for the second time a very respectable mandate and therefore he is committed to serve the people of Gujarat”.

There has been speculation that Modi is aiming at finding a bigger role for himself at the national level, including the Prime Minister's post if the BJP comes to power.

Jaitley, who is party in-charge of Gujarat, said the party’s win could be attributed to Modi’s “immense credibility” and added, “Modi provided the necessary edge to BJP’s campaign.” Jaitley said the BJP was inherently strongly in Gujarat and had a sound organisational base in the state.

Asked whether BJP’s showing in Gujarat would change the party’s policies at the national level, Jaitley said a single victory and a “possible victory” in Himachal Pradesh would not lead to any changes but there would be a “lot of resurgence” in the party. — PTI

Top

 

LeT may attack Modi, warn agencies

New Delhi, December 23
Central security agencies have warned of an assassination attempt on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by terror groups like Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) and asked the state government to further tighten his security.

Official sources said intelligence inputs, both technical and human, suggested that militants were planning to carry out a suicide attack on Modi, who already enjoys the highest category of security, especially after he demanded the execution of the death sentence against Parliament attack convict Mohammed Afzal.

Central security agencies sent a communique to the state government saying terrorists were planning to target Modi at a public gathering and local authorities had been asked to keep a thorough vigilance on all those meetings.

An advance security check has been made mandatory for the police wherever Modi would be visiting, the sources said.

Modi is today one of those political leaders in the country who faces the maximum threat perception.

The Centre has provided him with elite commandos of the National Security Guard and the state government has its own state commando force, specially trained for this purpose.

An additional high-frequency “jammer” vehicle is likely to be added to Modi’s carcade, a measure taken to block improvised explosive device of almost all frequencies. — PTI

Top

 

Modi to take oath on Dec 27
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
The BJP parliamentary board, the highest central decision making body of the party, today declared Narendra Modi as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat.

The board, which met here this evening, decided that the newly elected MLAs would hold a meeting tomorrow at Gandhinagar to elect Modi as their leader to stake claim before the Governor to form the new government.

Modi is slated to take oath as Chief Minister for the third consecutive term on December 27 at Gandhinagar.

“Elections were contested under the leadership of Modi and naturally he will be elected as leader,” senior BJP leader Arun Jaitely told reporters after the meeting.

BJP vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu and Jaitley have been authorised to act as central observers in tomorrow’s meeting of the BJP Gujarat legislature party.

Top

 

Cong again sings ‘secular’ hymn
Terms verdict Modi’s win

New Delhi, December 23
Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily has said the defeat of his party in the Gujarat assembly elections will help in uniting the secular forces in the country.

“All secular forces in the country, including the so-called Third Front, should unite with the Congress, if they are committed to the secular ideology of the country,” Moily said.

A shocked Congress Party gave the entire credit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, though charging him with having “communalised” the poll.

Moily said the victory of Narendra Modi was “not in the interest of the nation,” since “he (Modi) believes in divisive politics,” and added that the Gujarat Chief Minister never campaigned on a developmental plank.

On being asked about the ramifications of the Gujarat verdict on the national politics, he said Modi's victory would not have any impact on it.

“The BJP has lost its liberal face, given by Atal Behari Vajpayee,” Moily added. Stating that the Congress’ plan to depend on the BJP rebels in Gujarat's Saurashtra region proved out to be counter-productive for the party, Moily admitted that it was a mistake.

However, he added that there was nothing wrong in the “merchants of death” remark by Congress President Sonia Gandhi since the Congress had always objected to Modi's divisive politics.

Moily said his party’s defeat was because it could not go down to the extent of “Modi’s politics of hatred”. “We never compromised our core values like secularism and rule of law. Therefore, we could not pay him in the same coin,” he said, while pointing out, “We always fought for secularism”.

He also asserted it was not a victory of the BJP in Gujarat. “It is a defeat of the BJP, its principles and ideology. It is an individual victory for Modi. It is not a victory for governance, development or rule of law as it was sought to be made out”. — Agencies

Top

 

Gajraj grounded

New Delhi, December 23
“Hathi kahin Gajraj Hai, Modi ja Yamraj hai” (It is not just any elephant, but the king of elephants and Modi’s nemesis), was the catch line of the BSP in Gujarat. However, the “elephant” has stumbled, as the BSP has failed to win even a single seat in the 182-member Gujarat assembly where it strove hard to emerge as the “third alternative”.

It was a case of fifth-time unlucky for the BSP that has been contesting some seats in Gujarat since 1990.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati campaigned in the state in both phases as her party put up candidates for all seats encouraged by its success in capturing power in Lucknow.

Mayawati had deputed senior leader Gandhi Azad to Gujarat to personally supervise the campaign, but found that the climate in the western state where the polity was bipolar between the BJP and the Congress was far different from the Hindi heartland.

Gujarat was the first experiment of Mayawati in such a major scale outside Uttar Pradesh and her party has already announced that it would go it alone in all state assembly polls as also the next Lok Sabha elections.

Gandhi Azad, however, sought to downplay the rout of the party saying it was just a first move by the BSP in the state and his party never gets dejected by electoral reverses and continues to fight.

The debacle in Gujarat for the BSP has come at a time when the Mayawati-led party whose election symbol is the elephant was seeking to make inroads into a number of states and had raised an alarm in the Congress. — PTI

Top

 

Poll pundits take a beating

New Delhi, December 23
Psephologists, often getting the wrong end of the stick for their off-the-mark exit poll surveys, had predicted a BJP victory but none had given the saffron party the number it finally got.

The BJP won 117 seats in the 182-member state assembly, a tad higher than the NDTV exit poll projection of 90 and 110 seats for the party. The CNN-IBN-CSDS exit poll gave BJP 92 to 100 seats with the Congress expected to notch somewhere between 77 and 85. Others were given three to seven seats.

The exit poll by Star News-Nielsen had forecast the BJP would get 103 seats, while that by Zee News and C-Voter had given the party 93 to 104 seats followed by the Congress at 75 to 87 seats.

Pollsters became the object of ridicule in 2004, after they wrongly predicted a resounding victory for the then ruling alliance, NDA, led by the BJP.

However, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in that year's general elections and cobbled together an alliance that formed a government with the backing of the Left parties.

The CNN-IBN exit poll had given Congress an edge in Central Gujarat and a near cakewalk for the BJP in North Gujarat, two areas that were worst hit by the communal riots in 2002. — PTI

Top

 

Seven BJP ministers among losers

Ahmedabad, December 23
Though sailing on Modi magic, the ruling BJP has achieved a thumping victory in the state assembly elections, at least seven of its ministers, including three cabinet ministers, lost their seats.

Modi’s three cabinet colleagues, urban development minister Indravijaysinh Kishoresinh Jadeja (Dhangadhara), agriculture minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma (Dholka) and Kaushik Patel (Shahpur, Ahmedabad), lost to their Congress rivals.

While four minister of state who lost their seats are: Chhatrasinh Mori (Jambusar), Prabhatsinh Chauhan (Godhra), Dilipsinh Thakore (Samihari) and Ratilal Sureja (Manavadar).

Among the prominent Congress candidates who lost in the elections are union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dinsha Patel (Maninagar), former Deputy Chief Minister Narhari Amin (Matar), Chandrikaben Chudasma (Mangrol) and Naresh Raval (Mehsana). — UNI

Top

 

Threat of snap poll over: Advani

New Delhi, December 23
BJP’s victory in the Gujarat assembly elections has definitely put off the threat of mid-term poll, senior leader L.K. Advani said here.

The former Deputy Prime Minister said he was earlier expecting mid-term parliamentary poll early next year, but the Gujarat result had changed the situation.

“This victory has certainly put off the possibility of mid-term poll,” Advani said.

The Congress and CPM had adopted “dramatically opposite” positions on the Indo-US nuclear deal and now “it will be interesting to see what stand they take”, he said.

The victory had been made big by the adversaries of the BJP who kept up a strident attack on Modi, he added. — PTI

Top

 

MLAs elect their leader today

New Delhi, December 23
The newly-elected BJP MLAs in Gujarat are meeting in Gandhinagar tomorrow to elect Narendra Modi as the leader of the legislature party, paving the way of his becoming the Chief Minister for the third time. The Parliamentary Board, the highest decision making body of the BJP, cleared the name of Modi, who steered the saffron party to a third consecutive term in Gujarat at its meeting held here.

“Tomorrow morning, the BJP MLAs are meeting in Gandhinagar to officially elect their leader. Elections were contested under the leadership of Modi and naturally he will be elected as their leader,” BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting.

The Parliamentary Board approved Modi’s name, Jaitley, general secretary in charge of Gujarat, said. The meeting, chaired by party chief Rajnath Singh, also reviewed the election results in Gujarat and expressed happiness at the party’s performance. — PTI

Top

 

A congratulatory call from PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called up Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to congratulate him on his victory in the state assembly elections.

The call from the Prime Minister was in fact surprising as in the campaign up to the election Dr Manmohan Singh was critical of Modi’s style of functioning and his policies. However, it was also seen as part of the protocol with the Prime Minister of the country congratulating a Chief Minister of a state of the same country.

 

 

Top

 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |