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Modi reminds new MLAs about the fate of BJP dissidents

Special Correspondent

People did not give the winners power, but only responsibilities, he says

GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reminded the newly-elected members of the Assembly about the fate of the dissidents who were all wiped out in the elections. He said the people did not give the winners power, but only responsibilities. The BJP’s tradition was only to give and not to take. He pointed out that in the last House also some members felt that by not appointing the party members as chairmen of boards and corporations, he was ruining the party, but the people had shown them the reality.

Addressing the BJP Legislature Party meeting here, Mr. Modi said he believed the party to be one big family and at times some people might not be able to walk together and some might fall back. Asking the party members to develop the sentiments of “forgive and forget,” he said, “We are not big enough to pardon them, but we can at least hug them and try to build a new bridge.” He urged the party men to take the victory “in all humility” and remain conscious of the people’s expectations and fulfil their obligations to the State.

While State party president Purshottam Rupala thanked the people for voting the party back to power, Om Prakash Mathur, who is in charge of the State affairs, the former BJP national president, Venkaiah Naidu, and other leaders said the victory was only the beginning and the BJP was all set to recapture power in Delhi. “We have won the semi-final match and will also win the final, the Parliamentary elections,” Mr. Naidu said. He advised students of political science to learn a lesson or two from Mr. Modi on how live contacts with the people could bring victory for the party. National party general secretary Arun Jaitley, who was in charge of the election-related work in the State, attributed the BJP’s victory to Mr. Modi’s “credibility and decision-making capacity” and said that under his leadership Gujarat had become a model of development.

Earlier, Mr. Modi was unanimously re-elected leader of the legislature party, paving the way for his taking over as Chief Minister for the third time.

Mr. Modi’s was the only name proposed for the leadership by Finance Minister in the outgoing Cabinet Vajubhai Vala and was seconded by three members at the legislature party meeting held here under the chairmanship of Mr. Rupala. Mr. Naidu, who attended the meeting as the party high command’s observer, announced Mr. Modi’s election amidst thunderous applause from the newly-elected members and other party workers present. Mr. Jaitley and Om Prakash Mathur, who is in charge of the party’s State affairs, were present.

It was not immediately indicated if any Cabinet Minister also would take oath with Mr. Modi on Tuesday, but Mr. Rupala said Mr. Modi alone would be sworn in.

Mr. Modi will be occupying the highest executive office in the State for the third time.

BJP to replicate Gujarat model

PTI reports from New Delhi:

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said it would replicate the combination of Hindutva and development as poll plank in other States.

Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar told journalists here that Hindutva for the party meant nationalism and it would continue to raise the issues such as Ram Setu and the fight against terrorism.

“Hindutva means nationalism. One country one people ... Nationalism and development have always been the twin planks of the BJP.”

Mr. Javdekar said national party president Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani, and some other senior party leaders would come to Ahmedabad by a special plane to attend the swearing-in.

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