Gujarati press in raptures over ¿trader of votes¿

BY IANS| IN Regional Media | 24/12/2007
Divya Bhaskar said it was Modi who was projecting himself as larger than life, but now he has truly emerged as larger than life.
IANS reports

Reporting Narendra Modi¿s emphatic win in the Gujarat assembly elections, Gujarati newspapers, many of whom were highly critical of him before the results, hailed him Monday as a leader of national status.


Divya Bhaskar, published from six cities in the state and also from Mumbai, had a creative spin in the main headline: "Vote trader Modi¿s hat-trick", with the phrase "mato-na saudagar" (vote trader) playing on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi¿s controversial remark during the bitter election campaign, calling the state administration "maut ke saudagar" or merchants of death.


Multi-edition Gujarat Samachar had the banner headline "Modi frenzy wins Gujarat¿s hearts", adding "Jeet gaya Gujarat" or Gujarat has won - after the Bharatiya Janata Party¿s (BJP) election slogan of "Jeetega Gujarat" or Gujarat will win.


Loksatta-Jansatta, in large fonts befittingly in saffron tint, anointed him as the ruler of Gujarat - "Gujarat-no nath" - the title of a popular classic on Gujarat history by K.M. Munshi, one of the framers of India¿s constitution.


Many papers carried large photographs of BJP state president Purshottam Rupala garlanding Modi on his arrival at the state party office Sunday afternoon and offering sweets to him. Some focussed on the large crowd outside the BJP office celebrating victory.


In its main editorial comment, Divya Bhaskar said under the headline "Victory for Moditva": "With full faith, the people of Gujarat have made Narendra Modi the chief of Gujarat (¿Gujarat-no nath¿) once again. In an assembly election that had become like a suspense thriller, voters have chosen Moditva."


Highlighting all the odds against Modi, it concludes by saying: "The 2007 victory belongs to Modi alone. Till now, it was Modi who was projecting himself as larger than life, but now he has truly emerged as larger than life".


Gujarat Samachar in its main edit headlined "The grand victory of Moditva" attributed the win to the consistency of Modi¿s ideology. It added: "This election was seen as a dress rehearsal to the national elections. With his win, it won¿t be surprising if he emerges as a top national leader in the next general elections."


It also advised Modi to be humble and avoid over-confidence and arrogance - a reference to the BJP dissidents who had drifted away from the party thanks to his "autocratic" ways.


Loksatta-Jansatta¿s editorial was not titled differently either: "Modi¿s victory". It gave full credit for the BJP¿s third consecutive win to Modi alone.


It advised the chief minister to "put the intra-party differences aside and work towards fulfilling the people¿s expectations".


The newspapers also highlighted Modi¿s SMS, sent when the vote counting trends had indicated only a possibility of his return, saying: "I am a CM and will always remain CM. For me CM means common man."

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