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Modi's stunning victory wins him accolades from one and all

Narendra Modi wins accolades from friends and foes alike amidst indications of a possible realignment of forces.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2007 17:31 IST

Narendra Modi's impressive performance in Gujarat on Sunday won him accolades from friends and foes alike amidst indications of a possible realignment of political forces at the national level.

Having failed to oust Modi, a stunned Congress congratulated him for a "great, remarkable victory", while the Left parties voiced concern over success of "communal politics" in Gujarat.

BJP leader LK Advani described the Gujarat election results a "turning point" for national politics with his party signalling a "comeback". The party talked about the possibility of a bigger role for Modi at the national level.

As soon as it was clear that the 57-year-old leader would retain chief ministership, Modi received congratulations from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who called him.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, "It is a great victory for him. It is a remarkable victory." Among those who called up Modi to congratulate him was AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, in an indication that the erstwhile ally of the NDA was again warming up to the BJP.

"Your spectacular victory has brought hope and cheer to the vast majority of people in this nation who now believe that all is not lost and that India can still be saved from the clutches of unscrupulous power mongers," she said in her congratulatory message to Modi.

The Left parties expressed concern over rise of "communal politics". "The results show that where the impact of communal politics is deep, electoral efforts alone are insufficient to defeat the communal forces," the CPI(M) said in a statement.

It said what was required was a determined and uncompromising struggle against what it termed the communal ideology of Hindutva and the rightwing economic policies of the Modi government.

CPI leader D Raja said, "Gujarat election results show that secular forces would have to unitedly intensify the struggle against communal fascism, the danger of which continues."

Renewing the Left party's attack on the Congress, he said it should realise that secularism alone was not enough and it should do some serious introspection of its policies, particularly on the economic front.

"It should also rethink on the Indo-US nuclear deal and carry out mid-course correction of its polities," Raja said. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) congratulated its alliance partner BJP for its performance in the Gujarat, with party working President Sukhbir Singh Badal saying: "This is people's rebuff to Congress's attempts to communalise polity."

Rebel BJP leader Keshubhai Patel, Modi's arch rival, also congratulated him. "I congratulate Narendra Modi for BJP's victory. For the interests of the people, both the ruling and opposition parties should work together to take Gujarat forward on the road of development," the dissident leader, around whom the BJP rebels rallied, said in a statement.