With massive victories in UP and U'khand, Narendra Modi proves his 'magic' transcends Hindutva
Lucknow/Chandigarh: The BJP yesterday stormed back to power in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, securing landslide wins, while the Congress achieved a similar feat in Punjab. The Congress emerged as the single largest party in Goa and Manipur, which threw up a hung assembly.
Anchored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, the BJP juggernaut rolled on in UP and in the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand, bagging a three-fourth majority.
BJP president Amit Shah waves at party workers on his arrival at the party headquarters in New Delhi. Pics/PTI and AFP
The BJP is returning to power in the crucial state of UP after a gap of 15 years during which regional parties such as the SP and the BSP held sway. The BJP had just 47 seats in the outgoing house.
BJP leaders hailed the spectacular victories of BJP as a vindication of Modi's popularity and his pro-poor policies, with some calling it a "tsunami".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Shah, who crafted the election strategy in UP, said the results have catapulted Modi to the stature of the "tallest leader" since Independence.
He also asserted that the poll outcome will change the course of country's politics, marking the end of the politics of caste, nepotism and appeasement, and the beginning of the politics of performance.
Dejected Samajwadi Party workers sit at their party office in Lucknow and discuss the party's poor performances
The ruling SP, whose campaign was steered by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on development agenda, and its ally, Congress, received a humiliating drubbing. Yadav tendered his resignation in the evening.
With the wins in UP and Uttarakhand, the BJP has emerged as the leading political party in India. The BJP and allies have governments in at least 12 states. About 54 per cent of the population in India is under saffron rule.
Narendra Modi Prime Minister
'Gratitude to the people of India for the continued faith, support and affection for the BJP. This is very humbling and overwhelming. Am overjoyed that BJP has received unprecedented support from all sections of society. Huge support from the youth is gladdening.'
Amit Shah BJP president
'The only factor for the win is the performance of the Modi government. The outcome has shown the faith the poor have reposed in Modi... Even his political rivals will have to admit that he has emerged as the tallest leader in the country since Independence.'
Rahul Gandhi Congress vice-president
'I congratulate Shri Narendra Modi and the BJP on their victory in Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand. To all Congress workers across India: We stand resolute and committed to our values and our belief in an India united in strength and purpose. Our fight continues and will not end till we win the hearts and minds of people.'
Akhilesh Yadav SP chief
'I think in a democracy you get vote not by samjhana (reasoning) but by behkana (misguiding).'
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> Suresh Rana (BJP): Muzaffarnagar riot accused
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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi
Cong lost all four assembly seats in Amethi, the pocket borough of Nehru-Gandhi family. BJP bagged three seats
BSP chief Mayawati
EVMs tampered with: Mayawati
BSP chief Mayawati, whose party received a major drubbing in the UP polls, alleged that the EVMs were tampered with in such a way that whichever button was pressed, the vote went to the BJP. Terming the results as “shocking”, she asked the Election Commission to hold fresh elections using paper ballots. The EC said there was no merit in the allegation.
Keshav Prasad Maurya
Strongest contender, was closely associated with VHP during Ram Janmabhoomi movement, close to Amit Shah
Senior-most party leader in Uttar Pradesh, could be given the reins since he was the BJP's last CM in state
Union minister; Bhumihar chief, considered close to Modi and manages PM's Varanasi parliamentary constituency
BJP national secy; has said he's not in the race for chief ministership but will “not run away” from responsibility
Union tourism minister, considered close to RSS and has been managing all the ground work in UP for BJP
Firebrand Hindutva leader enjoys good clout. But is too polarising a figure, also not popular with fellow leaders
Represents Brahmin community, close to both Modi and Amit Shah, party favourite. But he's not known much outside Lucknow, which could work against him