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Hat-trick for Modi in Gujarat; Himachal goes to Congress

Ahmedabad/Shimla: Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led the BJP to a decisive win in the Gujarat Assembly elections for a third time in a row with the party securing absolute majority clinching 115 seats out of 182 seats. 

The arch rival Congress, out of power in the state for the last 22 years, won 61 seats. 

NCP of Sharad Pawar, which fought the election in alliance with the Congress, has won two seats and JD(U) one. 

Others have bagged three seats, including one by Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) of former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel. 

The Congress suffered a major blow when its state unit chief Arjun Modhwadia lost Porbandar seat to Babu Bokhiria of the BJP by 17,146 votes, while Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil was defeated by Minister of State for Fisheries Purushottam Solanki of the saffron party by 18,554 votes in Bhavnagar rural constituency. 

Both were strong contenders for chief ministership in the event of the Congress coming to power. 

However, Shankar Singh Vaghela, the Congress spearhead in the poll campaign and former state Chief Minister, managed to win Kapadvanj seat defeating Kanubhai Dabhi of the BJP by a margin of 6597 votes. 

Gujarat Parivartan Party president Keshubhai Patel scored a facile victory in Visavadar in Saurashtra defeating BJP’s Kanubhai Bhalala by over 42,000 votes. 

Though BJP registered an emphatic victory, five of its ministers fell by the wayside. 

Those who lost included Agriculture Minister Dileep Sanghani (Amreli), Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas (Siddhpur), Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Fakirbhai Vaghela (Vadgam), Minister of State for Forest and Environment Kiritsinh Rana (Limbdi) and Minister of State for Agriculture Kanubhai Bhalala (Visavadar). 

It appears to be a near-repeat performance by both the BJP and the Congress who had won 117 and 59 seats respectively in the last polls 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called on Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) President Keshubhai Patel and sought his blessings after BJP’s victory in the assembly elections. 

Modi drove to the residence of Patel, who fell out with the BJP stalwart and floated his own party ahead of the election, in Gandhinagar to meet him. 

“Modiji had come to seek blessings after his win in the elections. I congratulated him for the win,” Patel said after Modi’s visit. 

The former Chief Minister and BJP rebel floated GPP four months ahead of the elections and led a vitriolic campaign against Modi who had succeeded him in 2001. 

The GPP had fielded candidates in more than 170 Assembly seats, but the fledgling party came a cropper and barely managed to open its account. 

During the campaigning, Keshubhai, who won from Visavadar Assembly seat in Saurashtra region, had vowed to unseat Modi from power and compared the BJP leader to Hitler and called him a “demon“. 

Modi also visited his mother Hiraba and sought her blessings after leading the BJP to third straight Assembly election victory.

Congress ousts BJP in HP

In Himachal Pradesh, as trends showed reverses for BJP, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal conceded defeat and said that his party will now analyse what went wrong for them in the keenly fought elections. 

“We will have to find out where we were found to be lacking. We were confident because in the last five years there was development. Every household in the State had benefitted from our schemes. If an ample number of our candidates could not win, we will analyse and assess the reasons,” Dhumal said. 

Dhumal himself won from the Hamirpur defeating his nearest Congress rival Narinder Thakur by a margin of over 9,500 votes. 

The Congress, which put up a spirited campaign under former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, is all set to return to power in the hill state. The party won 36 out of 68 seats while the BJP got 25 seats, leading in one, and others won six seats. 

Congress had won 23 seats and BJP 41 in the 2007 polls.
— PTIBack





BJP evasive on question of Modi running for PM's chair

NEW DELHI: As Narendra Modi appeared set for a hat-trick in Gujarat, BJP today parried questions on whether he will be the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections. 

"Modi bhai has always been an important leader in the BJP... We are not a dynastic party which is led by a Yuvaraj. We function in a pure democratic fashion," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said. 

He was asked whether the third straight victory in Gujarat has defined Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for the BJP in the next Lok Sabha election in 2014. 

The party should be allowed to rejoice in its performance-led victory in the state, Prasad said, adding that Modi fought against all forms of vicious campaigns against himself at different levels in the state as well as internationally. 

"What is significant about this election is that in this country where there is so much of caste divide, a leader who has identified with the aspirations of an entire population, has emerged victorious," he said. 

He also warded off questions about implications of BJP's relations with the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has been critical of the idea of Modi's elevation to the national level. 

"This issue (Modi and Nitish) has been discussed several times. Our roots (BJP and JD(U)) are very strong and we have fought several polls together," Prasad said. 

He termed "speculative" further queries on this issue. "This is a speculative question. Allow us to celebrate Modi bhai's third victory," Prasad said. 

The BJP leader also said that the party is proud to have several eminent people with capability to become PM. 

"We are proud to have so many eminent leaders capable of becoming Prime Minister, unlike a Yuvaraj leading a dynasty. Our candidate will be chosen at the appropriate time," he said. 







India test-fires Prithvi-II missile

Balasore (Odisha): India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile with a strike range of 350 km from a test range at Chandipur near here. The surface-to-surface missile was test fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of Integrated Test Range at about 9:21 AM, defence sources said.

The launch of the sophisticated missile, conducted as part of operational exercise by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the defence services, was successful, they said.

"The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the total launch activities were carried out by the specially formed SFC and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of practice drill," sources said.

The Prithvi-II missile, developed by the DRDO, is already inducted into the Indian Armed forces.

Prithvi, the first missile developed under India's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads and thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines, uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory.Back




Gang-rape victim stable, conscious: Doctors

NEW DELHI: Having undergone a surgery to remove her gangrenous intestine, the 23-year-old paramedical student gang-raped on Sunday passed an “uneventful night” and is “stable, alert and conscious”, doctors treating her said on Thursday. 

“The night after the elective exploratory laparotomy, was uneventful. In the morning she was in stable condition. 

She continues to remain in ICU on life support, her vital parameters like blood pressure, urine output, respiratory rate were within acceptable limits,” said Dr B. D. Athani, Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, where she is undergoing treatment. 

“She is making an attempt to breathe on her own and we are about to start to give her Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), meaning providing nutrition through intravenous route, as she won’t be able to take her feed from her mouth because of the intestinal loss,” he said while issuing her medical bulleting. 

The doctors, however, said that there were some signs of reduction of the total count (of the blood cells) and there was mild diminution of platelet count, “otherwise she is alert and conscious”. 

Dr Athani said infection in this case was one of the impending dangers, impending complication. 

“It is one of the expected, anticipated danger and to avert that we have been giving her antibiotics from day one in adequate amount. As you know that the intestine was in a state of gangrenous condition and there are perennial wounds also,” Dr. Athani said. 

Asked about her being removed for ventilator, the doctors said, “She had always been on ventilator. On 18th morning she was on partial support but she had been on ventilator support. We have made no attempt to take her off the ventilator support, that is not something urgently required to be done.” 

The doctors said their “immediate and foremost concern” was to get her out of intensive care unit (ICU) and make her stable. 

Lauding the girl’s spirit, Dr Athani said she has an immense fighting spirit as despite sustaining such grievous injuries, “she had been stable and remained almost alert and withstood to, apart from assault, the all exploratory interventions.” 

“She is a brave girl and withstanding right from the day of assault till today everything.” 

Asked if she was communicating, Dr Athani said, “She is conscious but not able to speak as there is a tube inside for ventilation as she is on ventilator. She is able to communicate with gestures. We are not disturbing her again and again to communicate and we know that she is alert.” 

Doctors, who have been treating her, have termed her case as “extremely unusual and extremely rare” and said they have never seen such grave injuries to the intestine in cases of sexual assault. — PTI




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