M A I N   N E W S

TsuNaMo gives BJP decisive mandate to govern
* Modi wave powers party to a majority on its own
* NDA to form govt with a historic win
* Congress decimated, gets its lowest tally
* Mulayam, Mayawati wiped out in UP
* Jaya, Mamata, Naveen buck the trend
* AAP makes a strong debut in Punjab
KV Prasad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
Ending the BJP’s 10-year political ‘vanvaas’, Narendra Damodardas Modi scripted a never-before win for the party, helping it cruise to power on its own steam at the Centre by breaking a three-decade old trend of fractured mandates.

When the result of the 16th Lok Sabha election poured in, Modi's quest for a clear mandate bore fruit, as the BJP attained a comfortable majority of 282 seats on its own and grossed 336 seats with allies in the 543-member house.

Modi’s prediction that the BJP will not only get a clear majority, but the best since the people of India gave a 400+ mandate to Rajiv Gandhi in 1984, came accurate as was his other claim that the Congress will be reduced to double digit.

The Congress tally stood at 44, with regional party AIADMK taking the third position at 37, followed by the Trinamool Congress (34) and Biju Janata Dal (20).

While the mandate is being likened to the verdict handed by the electorate in 1977 and 1984, the circumstances then were vastly different -- the former followed Emergency and the latter the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

In what can be described as the Indian equivalent of an acceptance speech, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Modi told cheering supporters in Vadodora: “Good days are coming” and thanked constituents for electing him with a record margin of 5.7 lakh votes, even though he spent less than 50 minutes in the constituency.

For a person who crafted the campaign on the lines of the US Presidential election, Modi also thanked the people of Varanasi for voting for him despite his silence, an apparent reference to the controversy over denial of permission to hold a rally there.

Promising to govern in the best spirit of the Constitution, Modi said: “My responsibility is to take everyone along in running the nation. In a democracy, there are no enemies, only competitors. That competition ends with elections. Sabka saath, sabka vikas (with all, development for all).”

Besides Modi, prominent party winners include BJP veteran Lal Krishan Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, Army former Chief General VK Singh, Hema Malini and Maneka Gandhi.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi retained her Rae Bareli seat while Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia were re-elected from MP and Veerappa Moily from Karnataka. However, many stalwarts including ministers Kapil Sibal, Chandresh Katoch, Sachin Pilot and Meira Kumar lost.

While achieving Mission 272+ for the party with élan, Modi’s well-crafted strategy also demolished the Congress, reducing the Grand Old Party to a mere 43 seats, reflecting that his campaign for a ‘Congress-mukt (Congress-free) Bharat’ gained unimaginable ground. The reduced presence in the new House leaves the Congress in the danger of losing pre-eminence in the new House.

The BJP swept through the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and recorded an astonishing win in Uttar Pradesh where it touches 73 of the 80 seats. The remaining seven are divided between the Yadav and Gandhi families.

The saffron party also made inroads into Bihar where it’s well on its way to win 22 of the 40 seats and six by its ally, Lok Janshakti Party. The BJP's march into the North-East bore fruit in Assam where the party won seven of the 14 seats, while in Maharashtra the party and its ally -- Shiv Sena – were headed to win 42 of the 44 seats.

Modi's pointsman in UP Amit Shah described the verdict as the people's mandate. “This is the victory of the people of India. It is India's victory. The BJP accepts this mandate to provide good governance. In the coming days, a positive change is going to take place in the country's political environment. India's success story is set to move forward under Narendra Modi and India will regain its rightful place of glory in coming times under Narendra Modi's leadership,” he told reporters.





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