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'Modi may become the BJP's Lakshman'
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
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December 23, 2007 14:54 IST

After L K Advani who?  Narendra Modi [Images], chief minister of Gujarat, says Modi's harsh critic Achyut Yagnik.

"Modi may become the BJP's Lakshman," says Yagnik, an Ahmedabad-based political analyst.

He thinks that victory in the assembly polls will help Modi claim the number two position in the BJP in New Delhi. His victory will accelerate the internal battle within the BJP because now a strong successor to Advani has emerged, Yagnik said.

He said in this election North Gujarat has emerged as a new BJP stronghold. Since the last decade or so Saurashtra was the BJP's stronghold but North Gujarat has emerged as new monopoly area for the BJP.

When asked to comment on the Congress' spectacular defeat, Yagnik said, "We (analysts) were proved wrong because we were giving more seats to the Congress in south Gujarat and Saurashtra. But people voted for the BJP here too. Second, we were also banking on data of 2004 Lok Sabha election in which Congress got a majority in 92 assembly segments. But the Congress could not counter Modi's charisma nor could it select winnable candidates."

Giving the main reasons for the BJP's win, he said, "The BJP's win in Gujarat shows the power of the middle-class. The younger generation has approved of Moditva."

Yagnik sums up it up saying, "Gujarati pride, the issue of development and Hindutva emotions put forward by Modi helped him win the election."

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