8:31 am - Thursday November 12, 2015

Election Results 2014: Narendra Modi Wins India. BJP and Allies Cross 300 Seats

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Snooping issue: Congress steps up pressure on Modi
Snooping issue: Congress steps up pressure on Modi

New Delhi – Eight months after the BJP named him its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, 63, proved he was worth the opposition the party originally encountered over its decision. Mr Modi has delivered the BJP’s best result ever, giving it more than the 272 seats it needs to form a government. This is the first parliamentary majority by a single party since 1984.

India has won, good days are coming, Mr Modi said at a rally in Vadodara in his home state of Gujarat, where thousands chanted his name. In a clear message to those who have tagged him a polarising leader, he said, “Even if we’ve clear majority to run the government, it’s our responsibility to take everyone along in running India.”

Through his campaign, Mr Modi had vowed to reboot the economy and deliver efficient governance -he said today “development for all” would be his mission.

With its allies, the BJP now has over 300 of the 543 parliamentary seats. The stunning numbers provide incontrovertible evidence of the “Modi wave” that the BJP name-dropped for months. The twin headline to Mr Modi’s phenomenal win is the colossal defeat that he has enforced upon the incumbent Congress. Headed by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, the party has crashed to its worst performance with less than 50 seats after 10 years in power.

This afternoon, after it became clear that he was the indisputable champion of the election, Mr Modi, who has been governing Gujarat for 13 years, drove to his mother’s house to seek her blessings, promptly tweeting a selfie of their meeting.

He has been elected to parliament from Vadodara and the holy city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, which he is expected to choose as his constituency. (Track Party-Wise Result Here)

With exit polls predicting a strong result for the BJP, Mr Modi has been in consultations with a series of party leaders over the last few days to decide who will belong in his government. Tomorrow, he will land in Delhi and drive to the BJP office for a meeting of its top decision-making body, its parliamentary board. The journey will be leveraged by celebrating party workers to stage a hero’s welcome for Mr Modi.

Last year, a section of big-hitters within the BJP like Sushma Swaraj and LK ADvani resisted the BJP’s plans to name Mr Modi its presumptive prime minister, partly because of his controversial past and his reputation as an authoritarian leader. They later endorsed his candidature. On Mr Modi’s immediate to-do list is deciding the roles leaders like them will play in his government -an issue flagged for debate at tomorrow’s Delhi meeting, said sources.

The Gandhis and other opponents of Mr Modi attacked him in rallies as a divisive leader, citing Gujarat’s communal riots that took place on his watch in 2002. Detractors say Mr Modi did not do enough to stop the violence. He has denied any wrongdoing and the Supreme Court inquiry has found no evidence of his alleged role.

Mr Modi and his core team carefully constructed a presidential-style campaign powered by world-class technology. He has covered 300,000 km since being named the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in September, addressing 457 meetings. When he could not show up, he appeared as a hologram.

In virtually every appearance, Mr Modi reminded voters that he is the son of a lower-caste tea seller, contrasting his humble roots to the priveliged upbringing of Rahul Gandhi, who fronted the Congress campaign against him.

Choosing to steer largely clear of religion and the hardliner right-wing Hindtuva agenda he has pitched in the past, Mr Modi promised that if elected he would recharge an apathetic economy and nationalize the “Gujarat model” of development that his party listed as his main qualification for the country’s top job.

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