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'I see an emotional frenzy in the BJP's favour'
Sheela Bhatt in Ahmedabad |
December 12, 2002 05:24 IST
"I think we are fighting the Congress only in the media. On the ground I don't see any battle; we remain
unchallenged. Rather, I see a frenzy in favour of the BJP wherever I campaign," Narendra Modi, Gujarat's caretaker chief minister, told rediff.com in a brief chat.
Asked how confident he was about the Bharatiya Janata Party's chances considering the success of the Congress campaign as the polling date approached, he remarked, "How is it possible that the Congress will remain out of the race? They have their fixed vote base of 34 per cent. But if you go by the Frontline poll, our vote base of 50 per cent plus would give me more than 120 seats."
Referring to his primary plank of fighting terrorism, Modi said, "I am raising the issue of people's security. I am not talking about terrorrism. Last night in Asarva constituency I told the voters that if you have the best of the luxuries of life, but if your sons do not return home safely in the evening, what's the use? People do understand my point."
Asked about the perception that the Gujarat election has become a straight fight between him and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the shrewd Modi remarked, "Does that mean Sonia Gandhi has come down to my level instead of fighting Vajpayeeji and Advaniji?"
Modi appeared tired with the campaign drawing to a close, but his killer instinct remained intact in the nerve-wracking psychological war with the Congress. The Frontline election survey boosted his and his party's confidence because it was conducted by 'secular' surveyors, yet showed that the BJP's vote base has increased and will give it an advantage.
According to a source close to Modi, state BJP bosses have identified 77 seats out of 182 that clearly favour the
BJP. "We need to work hard only for another 15 to 20 seats, but the Congress has only 45 [safe] seats. And now time is against the Congress. They can't catch up before the midnight of December 11!"