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‘Gujarat showed India the way’

Fresh from his thumping victory in Gujarat, Narendra Modi said the Gujarat polls have shown India the way, reports Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2008 01:04 IST
Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit
Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit
Hindustan Times

Narendra Modi, the poster boy of a party known to fight elections on communal issues, sang a different tune in Mumbai on Sunday.

Fresh from his thumping victory in Gujarat, Modi said the Gujarat polls have shown India the way. The BJP leader said that from now on, elections would have to be fought on development issues.

“There is this perception in India that good governance is bad politics,” said Modi addressing thousands of BJP supporters at Shivaji Park, a vast ground located in the heart of Mumbai’s Marathi-dominated Dadar area. “But I chose to challenge that perception and Gujarat has shown that people want good governance. The Centre indulges in communal budgeting.”

Modi was in the city in which BJP estimates nearly 40 lakh Gujaratis live, for a ceremony organised by his party’s Mumbai chapter to felicitate him for his win. Many tried capturing his dramatic entry in a chariot on their cell-phone cameras. “If 80 per cent of the people are here as BJP supporters, 20 per cent are here for him,” said Himanshu Kulkarni, a 32-year-old local doctor.