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Day of triumph for Narendra Modi

The Gujarat election result comes as no surprise. The fact that Narendra Modi  has won for a record third time in Gujarat shows his popularity in the state. However, Modi’s win should not be viewed in the context of fundamentalism, for that will impact our politics in a negative way. Fundamentalism to answer fundamentalism can’t take the nation forward.  Rather, Modi’s victory in Gujarat should be viewed as the win of a good administrator who has indeed done good work in the state that he has governed for the past so many years.

It is proof of Modi’s calibre as an administrator that he hasn’t let factionalism within the party affect BJP’s hold on Gujarat. Rather, as the most popular face of the party, he has yet again managed to put BJP on top in Gujarat. All this must make him BJP’s most able candidate for the post of prime minister in the 2014 polls. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid may claim ‘This Gujarat election proves that it’s not open skies for Narendra Modi,’ but ground reality does hint at the opposite. That is unless India decides to go with the comfort that familiarity brings and vote again for Congress.

Modi opposers within BJP too will now probably realise his importance as the face of the party in 2014 polls. The victory  in Gujarat has given BJP a good start to the Lok Sabha polls next year, but to make an impact on the national platform, the party must rise above its internal rifts and personal ambitions of party members.  And the challenge for Modi would be to assure Indians that voting him to power will not endanger the country’s secular motto in any way. He has done good work in putting Godhra behind him in Gujarat - now he must let that same spirit of tolerance and development show when he aims for a bigger role. Also, he must win dissenters within the party. One thing is for sure though, even if Congress returns to power in 2014, BJP, unless it ruins its own chances, will come as a stronger opposition and this power play between the parties may result in some real development work being done in  in the country.
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