India’s Modi leads BJP to historic pollwin

Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister-elect,

has promised to work to "fulfil the dreams of

1.2 billion people" as he addressed his

supporters for the first time after he led his

Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a

landslide election victory.

Thousands of his supporters from across his

constituency of Vadodara in western Gujarat

state turned out to hear the 63-year-old

former tea boy who is poised to become prime

minister of the world's second-most populous


"The heat of the election is over and the

people have given their verdict which says that

we need to take India forward to fulfil the

dreams of India's 1.2 billion people," he said.

"I want to take all of you with me to take this

country forward… it is my responsibility to

take all of you with me to run this country," he


By Friday evening, BJP was winning in enough

seats in the lower house of Parliament to

exceed the 272-seat majority needed to create

a government without forming a coalition with

smaller parties, the Election Commission said.

Full results were expected later in the evening

or by Saturday morning, but Modi's win was all

but assured.

Modi tainted by anti-Muslim violence in his

home state of Gujarat in 2002, told cheering

supporters that "good times are coming".

Critics worry that his rise could worsen

sectarian tensions between India's majority

Hindus and its 138 million Muslims. But in his

victory speech, the BJP leader appeared to

sound inclusive.

"There are no enemies in democracy, there is

only opposition. I will take your love and

convert it into progress before I return," he


For the young Indian voters, the priorities are

jobs and development, which Modi put at the

forefront of his campaign.

The stunning results exceeded all forecasts.

Firecrackers exploded at BJP offices around the

country and sweets were handed out in

celebrations that began only a few hours after

the first figures filtered out.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called

Modi to congratulate him on the victory,

Singh's office said in a Tweet.

Congress concedes defeat

The outcome was a crushing defeat for the

Congress party, which is deeply entwined with

the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty that has

been at the centre of Indian politics for most

of the country's post-independence history.

Friday's partial results showed Congress

leading in only 42 seats, its worst showing


The leaders of Congress party, Sonia and Rahul

Gandhi, admitted personal responsibility for

the disastrous election results.

"We understand that victory and loss is part of

democracy," party president Sonia told

reporters in New Delhi.

"We respect this decision. I take responsibility

for this defeat," she said.

Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman, reporting from

New Delhi, said: "Modi has taken the pains to

tell the community-at-large that everyone will

prosper under his government."

"It is inevitable that countries like Bangladesh

and Pakistan will be eyeing this very carefully,"

he said.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reporting from

Islamabad, said there is are some fears from

the Pakistani side, but the Pakistan Prime

Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he is looking

forward to a positive relationship.

"Even though there is optimism things will

move forward, there are apprehnsions," Hyder


There was a record turnout in the elections,

with 66.38 percent of the 814 million eligible

voters casting ballots during several stages of

the six-week ballot. Turnout in the 2009

elections was 58.13 percent.

"In the history of independent India, no

political party has defeated the Congress party

with such a wide margin," BJP President

Rajnath Singh told a news conference in New


At one point on Friday, the benchmark Sensex

stock index rose as much as 6.1 percent on

news of the BJP's strong showing before

closing 0.9 percent higher than Thursday.

There is widespread dissatisfaction with the

ruling Congress Party, which has been plagued

by repeated corruption scandals. The BJP made

promises of economic growth and better

governance in a well-financed campaign.

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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