The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) announcement of Narendra Modi as PM candidate came as a morale booster for the party in Bihar, which has been smarting under an acrimonious split from the ruling Janata Dal (United) JD(U) government.

“It seems like Atalji’s days are back again,” Mangal Pandey, State BJP president told The Hindu.

“The desire of 10.5 crore people of Bihar has been fulfilled today. They wanted to see Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate. There is a wave of happiness not just among the BJP workers, but also among common people. Diwali is being celebrated at all the district party offices in the State. People are feeling that they finally have a strong leadership for the 2014 polls. This is a very timely decision,” Mr. Pandey said.

The Bihar State unit had shown its eagerness for Mr. Modi way earlier by passing a resolution at its meet in Gaya last month, calling upon the central leadership to make an announcement soon. Voices of support for Mr. Modi’s candidature had begun even when the BJP was in power with the Nitish Kumar government.

The previous day, former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi openly criticised party patriarch L. K. Advani on twitter for “failing” to gauge the public sentiment in favour of the Gujarat Chief Minister.

After the announcement, he tweeted, “BJP hs honoured sentiments of ppl of India by nominating Narendra Modi as its PM candidate…Narendra Modi is not only NDA’s PM candidate but has become people’s candidate for the PM’s post.”

All eyes are now on Narendra Modi’s October 27 Hoonkar Rally in Patna, where BJP president Rajnath Singh will be present.

There was much celebration at the BJP office in Patna after the announcement.