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Narendra Modi's victory will strengthen his position in BJP at national level
As counting of votes continues for the Gujarat assembly elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been declared winner from his constituency Maninagar. With a renewed public mandate Narendra Modi is set to rule the state for the third time in a row. Modi's victory has ensured one more thing - that now the Congress might have to re-frame its strategies regarding the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as Modi has strengthened his prime ministerial candidature with his victory.

IN 2007, the BJP had won 117 seats in Gujarat in assembly elections, and this year too, as per counting projections, the BJP may record wins somewhere near the same figure. The BJP, if it wins, will rule the state for the fifth time in a row on the back of Narendra Modi's record of non-corrupt governance, all-round development of the state, and sound future planning.

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General Secretary of Socialist Party, India Dr Prem Singh told this citizen journalist that the victory of Modi will make his position stronger with in the BJP. “This victory in Gujarat will strengthen the position of Narendra Modi in BJP. Already, there were voices in favor of Modi towards his candidature for PM's post in 2014 elections, however, after this successive victory there would be more support for him,” said Dr. Prem Singh.

Dr. Singh said that to prevent any division within the party, the Congress will fight the 2014 elections while projecting Rahul Gandhi as their leader, however, he will fail to make an impact when he will be up Narendra Modi. “The Congress will fight the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. But against Modi Rahul will fail to make an impact,” added Dr. Singh.

Prior to the Gujarat election results, the state witnessed vigorous campaigning. Addressing an election rally in Gujarat's Saurashtra region ahead of the first phase of the polling Congress president Sonia Gandhi had tried to attack Modi and his record of governance. However, defying all the charges, Modi is set to clinch an overwhelming victory. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, too, came to Gujarat for campaigning. But he also failed to create a favorable wave for his party. It only shows that the people of Gujarat did not buy the claims of Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. The failure of the Gandhis in Gujarat will certainly create worries within the party as it was all set to project junior Gandhi as the face of the party well before the 2014 elections. Modi's loss would have made the path easier for the Congress, but now it may have to re-think its strategies.

If the BJP again comes to power, as trends project, on the back of Modi's strong showing - on a national level, the BJP's victory might give a push to anti-incumbency sentiment against the ruling UPA-II coalition government led by the Congress. The Congress will have to take into consideration the fact that pre-election and post-election alliances with Modi as the leader in the 2014 general elections will be an eventuality that it needs to prepare for - not just as a party but also as an alliance that has a consensus PM candidate.

With Modi again triumphing in his own election in Gujarat - he has created enough political space for himself to be considered as a contender as a leading pan-Indian leader. But is there consensus for Rahul Gandhi as a national leader within Congress and its alliance partners? Is the nation prepared to see the inexperienced Rahul Gandhi as the country's prime minister? Does the Congress have a strategy to counter BJP when the country's biggest opposition party comes down strongly on the Congress on corruption allegations? Modi's win, and BJP's impending good show in Gujarat will make the Congress ask these questions? 

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