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Modi victory stuns all; wins him accolades
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

  Vote for good governance: Advani
  Remarkable win for Modi: Cong
  Impact of communal politics deep: Left

New Delhi, December 23
He has always been in the eye of the storm. And with his stunning victory against all odds in Gujarat, Narendra Modi has stirred up another storm this time within the opposition parties, in turn forcing them to come out with congratulatory messages on one hand and cautious messages on the other.

Accolades from friends and foes alike came pouring in amidst indications of a possible realignment of political forces at the national level.

Having failed to oust Modi, a stunned Congress congratulated him for what it termed as a great and remarkable victory, while the Left parties voiced concern over success of communal politics in Gujarat.

Accolades came first from within the party for Modi, who is time and again being seen as the future face of the hardline BJP. Its president L.K. Advani was not far off the mark while congratulating the Gujarat Chief Minister for the results.

He described the Gujarat election results a turning point for national politics with this being the signal for his party’s comeback. The party also talked of a possibility of a bigger role for Modi at the national level.

“I heartily congratulate the people and the party for this resounding victory,” he said, adding that in 2002, when the BJP won, the critics attributed this victory to the “burning train”, but of course this was not true.

“With this renewed mandate, the party has conclusively shown that the people had voted for good governance, development and a leadership that delivers,” Advani added.

He said the Congress campaign was unprecedented vilification of the BJP and negative personalised campaign against Modi.

It was also a reminder of 1971 campaign where the entire opposition was on an anti-Indira platform (minus the vilification element), Advani said. Ms Gandhi skillfully used this by raising the slogan “garibi hatao” to her advantage, he added.

Advani said this victory had also highlighted important lessons for the polity. The Gujarat Chief Minister had also disproved the conventional wisdom that the good governance did not end up in good politics. He had also won on a development plank, Advani added.

He pointed out that the BJP had shown that it was capable of getting a renewed mandate without terrorising and obstructing voters sympathetic to an opposition party like was the case of the CPM in West Bengal and it was also a victory against politics of vilification, negativity and arrogance.

“I cannot think of any other leader in Indian politics in the past 60 years who was as viciously and consistently maligned as Modi since 2002,” he added. Incidentally, as soon as it was clear that the 57-year-old leader would retain chief ministership, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, “It is a great victory for him. It is a remarkable victory”.

Among those who called up Modi to congratulate him was AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, in an indication that the erstwhile ally of the NDA was again warming up to the BJP.

“Your spectacular victory has brought hope and cheer to the vast majority of people in this nation who now believe that all is not lost and that India can still be saved from the clutches of unscrupulous power mongers,” she said.

While the Left parties expressed concern over rise of communal politics.

The results show that where the impact of communal politics is deep, electoral efforts alone are insufficient to defeat the communal forces, the CPM said in a statement.

“What is required is a determined and uncompromising struggle against the communal ideology of Hindutva and the capacity to launch sustained struggles of all sections of the people who suffered from the rightwing economic policies of the Modi government,” the statement said.

The Left parties also asked its UPA ally and the main opposition party, the Congress, to properly analyse the election results and draw appropriate lessons.

Left leaders were of the view that the practice adopted by the Congress, banking upon the BJP’s rebels, was totally wrong. “The results from Saurashtra clearly show that the BJP followers have not voted for the BJP dissidents contesting on the Congress ticket. They have rather voted with a vengeance for the BJP. It has improved its position than what it had gained in 2002”.

CPM senior leader Nilotpal Basu, while admitting the failure of the secular forces in winning over of the majority of the people in Gujarat polls, however, denied that the BJP’s win in the state would have any impact on the national political scenario.

Party general secretary and veteran leader A.B. Bardhan said the Congress, of course, had gained some seats in central Gujarat but it was primarily due to the disenchantment of tribals and better percentage polling in the minority dominated area.

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