Elated with the Bharatiya Janata Party's impressive victory in the crucial Gujarat assembly election, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Sunday advocated the need for incumbent chief minister Narendra Modi to adhere to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's suggestions and strictly follow rajdharma.
"By successfully conducting the Gujarat election, Modi had followed rajdharma but his responsibility has increased manifold and he will have to strictly follow rajdharma," Thackeray said.
The Sena chief claimed that he had advised the BJP leadership not to effect a change of guard in the state in the wake of Godhra carnage and subsequent communal conflagration. "I had repeatedly conveyed my message to Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishenchand Advani, not to dislodge Modi through various central BJP ministers whom I had met during that period," Thackeray said. "I had also told the BJP leadership that it was only Modi who could win the state back for that party."
The Sena chief, however, said, "I do not claim that only due to my advise central BJP leadership reposed faith in Modi, but good sense prevailed on them and they continued with him." The Sena chief said his party may have differences with BJP but it wanted the latter's victory in the Gujarat polls. "Had Congress come to power in that state, entire Gujarat would have been turned into Godhra," the Sena chief commented.