The Opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under the leadership of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi overwhelmed the ruling Congress and its allies winning 341 of the 543 seats of Lok Sabha which went to the polls. The ruling alliance ended up badly wounded getting just 58 seats, of which the Congress’s share is measly 44. The results proved to be an admonition for the Congress government for failing to curb corruption, generate employment and rein in high rate of inflation.
On Thursday, Narendra Modi-led six-month-long poll campaign had a picture perfect ending with the leader winning both the Vadodra and Varanasi seats trouncing his closest rivals with humongous margins of over 5.70 lakh and 3.37 lakh respectively. He led the party in registering impressive performance in state after state, the only jarring note being the defeat of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley from prestigious Amritsar seat. The other embarrassment for the party was the narrow defeat of its only Muslim face Syed Shahnawaz Hussain from Bhagalpur seat.
While the Opposition has been miserly in extending congratulatory note to the in-coming prime minister, Narendra Modi, in his thanks giving speech delivered at Vadodra and televised live, said that he held no grievances despite a very vitriolic campaign at times impinging on personal lives of the leaders. ‘I need support, cooperation and friendship of every party to achieve the goals which I have set for myself,’ he said addressing a mammoth and belligerently cheering crowd. ‘In a democracy, there are no enemies but only competitors. That competition ends with elections,’ he said, adding his motto was ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ (with all, development for all).’
Modi’s message was clear that he would rise above partisan politics to serve the nation with good governance. ‘For a government, no one is a favourite, nor is anyone an alien,’ he said to a cheering crowd of supporters. Using the occasion to recall constitution framer Dr BR Ambedkar’s connection with Vadodra, Modi said, ‘I am committed to running the country in the best spirit of the Constitution. My responsibility is to take everyone along in running the nation.’
The results made it amply clear that Narendra Modi managed to overcome compartments in Hindu society getting votes from all castes including the Dalits. BJP’s extra-ordinary performance in Uttar Pradesh and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samajwadi Party’s inability to open account shows that Dalits especially those from the younger generation voted en bloc for Modi as PM.
The polls established Modi also as the youth icon, completely demolishing the claims of much younger sibling team of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi put forward by the Congress. Their trouncing showed in no uncertain terms that the voter looked for credible performance to give its approbation and Modi topped the list.
The prime minister elect arrives in the national Capital on Friday and is expected to be sworn into the office in the middle of next week.