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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Narendra Modi finishes victory lap in Delhi, dedicates win to party workers

HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 17, 2014
First Published: 01:22 IST(17/5/2014) | Last Updated: 15:40 IST(17/5/2014)

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi, all set to become India's 14th prime minister, on Saturday dedicated his party's thumping victory in the Lok Sabha elections to the "generations of loyal party workers" after leading a victory procession from the airport in the capital.

As he reached the party headquarters, Modi was showered with rose petals amid chants of his name by supporters. Party president Rajnath Singh and senior leader Nitin Gadkari were also present at 11, Ashoka Road in central Delhi.

"This victory is dedicated to the sacrifices of generations of loyal party workers who have been working tirelessly since 1952. It's the fruit of their blessings, prayers and hard work," Modi said.

Narendra Modi's victory march in Delhi

 

Modi led his party to a stunning victory, making the BJP the first non-Congress party since Independence in 1947 to win a comfortable majority on its own in the 545-member Lok Sabha.

"I thank the people of Delhi for voting and electing all our seven candidates. The warm welcome that I have received today, I am thankful for that," added Modi.

As Modi entered the gates of the office, a bunch of white balloons were released.

Senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj also arrived at the BJP headquarters for a meeting of the parliamentary board.

Earlier, frenzied Modi fans blew conches, beat drums and shouted slogans outside the Indira Gandhi International Airport as Modi flew in from Gujarat, came out and waved to them.

A crowd, waiting since early morning but entertained by a marching band and thumping dance music, burst through police barricades at the sight of the 63-year-old leader's cavalcade.

"Modi is our lion! He will work for the people of India, he will work for development, he will work for every Indian," shouted Om Dutt, a 39-year-old shop owner.

The newly elected seven BJP MPs from Delhi were among those who received Modi.

The controversial leader, wearing a blue jacket and light blue kurta, opened the door of his car and flashed a V sign while it drove along, as many strained for a glimpse, took videos on their mobile phones and showered the vehicle in petals.

Read: Modi-led BJP landslide buries Congress
In pictures: Modi's victory march in New Delhi

The chief minister of Gujarat, who has never held national office, is set to drive from the airport to his party's headquarters in central New Delhi with supporters gathering along the route.

The BJP won the first majority in Parliament for 30 years on Friday after a campaign by Modi focused on delivering new jobs, development and clean government.

The triumph redrew India's political map, handing him a huge mandate for change, and heaping humiliation on the ruling Gandhi political dynasty.

"He made Gujarat great, he will make India great," said BJP party worker and businessman Rahul Sethi, 45, as he waited for his hero at the airport.

Modi's motorcade, now protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG), then proceeded to the BJP headquarters.

A mass of BJP supporters waving party flags and sporting Modi masks gathered at select spots on the route from the airport to the BJP office in the heart of the capital.

"Modi will leave Ahmedabad at 8am on Saturday and his flight is expected to reach here by 10am. BJP has made extensive arrangements for a victory procession of Modi from the airport to the party headquarter on Ashoka Road. The procession will stop at eight places on the way to party headquarters where cadres will felicitate him," said a source associated with the arrangements.

Modi is expected to reach party headquarters in central Delhi in two hours and will participate in the meeting of the parliamentary board scheduled at 12.30pm.

He will then fly to Varanasi in the afternoon where he is expected to participate in Ganga arti and a public meeting. He is expected to be back in the capital by night.

The prime ministerial guarding force, the SPG which is already involved in the security arrangements for Modi's victory procession in the national capital will formally take over his security when will take oath.

"Modi is expected to take oath by 22 May. But nothing is finalised as of now," said the source.

Modi wrested the top job in the country on Friday as a saffron wave swept most of India, lifting the BJP to its highest-ever tally and leaving the Congress in tatters.

The triumph capped an amazing run for the 63-year-old chief minister of Gujarat, who ran a high-voltage campaign that rewrote the political rule book and knocked his rivals off balance.

The result is the biggest landslide in 30 years, and the first time since 1984 that a single party has a majority in the Lok Sabha.

The mandate gives Modi the chance to shape the new government as he wishes, without the pulls and pressures that have hobbled past coalitions.

Expectations are growing that he will slash red tape, revamp tax laws and unveil measures to kick start growth.

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(With IANS and AFP inputs)

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