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Monday, 23 December, 2002, 10:15 GMT
Gujarat election: What will BJP victory mean?
Three people have been killed in disturbances in the Indian state of Gujarat following the election victory of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Two BJP workers died during a celebratory parade in the western town of Rajkot, while a member of the opposition Congress Party was killed in Baroda in the east.
In last week's election, the BJP increased its majority in the 182-seat Gujarat assembly by winning 126 seats.
The Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee congratulated the BJP Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the party's victory.
However, opponents have accused Mr Modi of capitalising on widespread communal violence in the state earlier this year.
What will the BJP victory mean for Gujarat? Can anything be done to end the violence in the state?
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
I consider BJP's victory in Gujarat as being an outcome of a completely tranparent and democratic procedure, and is therefore unquestionable on account of the validity of the mandate. I consider that the issue to be discussed is only the outcome(as the BBC has suggested) and not is it correct for any party to win or not. How can we question the sanity, ideology of the majority of Gujaratis? And it is a fact that precursors to the elections were not healthy, but it was from both the sides. The Central Government and other states governed by BJP have only negated their much hyped communal agenda, and so it is saner and logical to consider what happened as a result to the Godhra massacre, both indeed condemnable.
A Rajan, USA
The time has come for Indian Muslims to decide whether they want to live under the same law as other Indians do, or whether they would like to cling on to Sharia. Religion based laws like Sharia have no place in a secular republic like India. The existence of different laws for different group of Indians raise barriers among them. In essence the Muslims have to decide if they want to be Indian first or Muslim first.
It will mean big time trouble for everybody in Gujarat!! It will be the same trouble all over again.
The people of Gujarat have voted against incessant demonising of Modi and Gujaratis by the media and failure of the opposition to see this. The opposition was up to its old tricks of vote bank politics based on minorities and caste which is evidently losing its power as the majority have seen through the game. BJP was seen as more honest if a bit unfair and it has rightly won.
Ajai Vasudevan, USA/India
I believe strongly that the BJP victory will mean stability and prosperity in Gujarat, provided that the Gujarati Muslims, most of whom are very nice people, do not resort to mass killings, like they did on Feb 28th. The BJP's economic policies and Gujarati entrepreneurship have made Gujarat a very prosperous state compared with the rest of India, and now that a government is in place that most oversees Gujaratis prefer (BJP), the investment into Gujarat is likely to be revived.
The people of Gujarat have decided. What's the difference! Political opponents will have to decided whether they prefer peace or bloodshed. What a strange country India is!
Rashid Ali, Canada
The way BJP using religion to divert attention of masses from their poor governance will eventually lead to large scale civil war between Hindus and Muslims all over India. The people of Gujarat has given in to the foul play of communal politics and will soon realize that they have made a severe mistake.
I think Modi has been treated unfairly by the opposition parties and by the sensationalist reporting by the Indian media in handling the Godhra affair. Even so, Gujaratis have proved that they know what the truth is and Modi is a spectacular leader given the handicaps created by the opposition parties and media.
This victory for BJP, even though a sad event, should be a wake up call to the so called secular parties that they cannot take the majority community for granted.
It is a win for Gujaratis who love peace and reflects the state's anger towards a slender campaign unleashed by anti-national elements.
Hindus have been exploited for centuries and it is still continuing in every day life in the form of shadow secularism preached by Congress and Communist parties in India. It is time to stand up and make India a Hindu country although people of other religions should be left in peace.
The people of Gujarat have decided! The BJP victory means the people of India have started rejecting pseudo-secular parties. Violence in Gujarat can only be ended when the minority community sets its priorities right.
16 Dec 02 | South Asia
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